Orlic Dominates the Sand Court

Isabella Hughes, Staff Writer

   Bright skies and sandy courts are where Junior Iva Orlic dominates in her position on the Girls Varsity Beach Volleyball Team, working hard with her partner to keep the ball off the sand and nail it down on her opponent’s side of the net.

   Orlic started playing beach volleyball with family and friends, but didn’t start playing competitively until her freshman year when she tried out for the team at UC High. Her years of recreational play prepared her quite well, seeing as she made varsity that very same year.

   Orlic worked very hard to become the strong player she is; however, it can be difficult for her and her team to practice. Orlic stated, “Unfortunately, our sport is very weather dependent so we do our best to get at least two practices in a week.”

   That doesn’t stop her from standing out to her teammates. Freshman Alison Scuba said, “She’s very focused on volleyball and when she’s playing, everything she does makes us want to learn from her because she is so good. She inspires us all to want to do what she can do.” Scuba went on to say that Orlic is someone she personally looks up to, “It’s hard not to be influenced by her, especially on the court.”

   Beach volleyball is played in teams of two, so a large part of the reason Orlic is successful is due to her ability to bond with her teammates. Orlic said, “Even though we range from freshman to seniors, we all get along quite well. We’re all really excited to be out there and playing together so that definitely brings us closer.”

   Scuba, however, feels that a big reason the team all gets along so well is because of Orlic herself. “She keeps the mood up, makes everyone laugh, and is always encouraging everybody. She cares about the whole team and wants everyone to do well,” she said.

   Orlic shared that she feels a newfound responsibility on this year’s team. She said, “Coming back after a year off from COVID, and now being a junior, I definitely find myself looking after the younger new players, coaching them and wanting to help them improve.”

     Orlic plans to continue playing after high school, “I think that college or club beach volleyball would be a really fun way to keep playing and improving. But I’m not totally sure where I want to go to school yet.” With Orlic being a junior, she has some time to make her decision.

   Orlic feels confident about the remainder of the season. She and her partner are working hard to remain undefeated. Plus, she has some added incentive to do so: “My partner and I made a bet with one of our coaches that if we stay undefeated, he would dye his hair a color of our choosing. We have to make it happen.”

   Orlic encourages people to play beach volleyball: “Beach volleyball is an amazing way to meet people and a great way to stay active. It has cardio from the running and builds strength in your legs. It’s not just a great way to exercise but a fun one surrounded by others. If you every have the chance, play!”

   The way Orlic describes beach volleyball is very similar to the overall spirit of UC High sports. A way to be active and exercise while enjoying the fundamentals of school spirit alongside good friends and teammates.