Asgari Unstoppable On All Courts

Judy Scott, Staff Writer

   Being a good volleyball player is an impressive feat, but being outstanding in both beach and indoor volleyball is nothing short of phenomenal. Defending hit after hit, going for every ball that comes his way, not much gets past Senior Shahab Asgari. His skills on both the beach and indoor court are a reflection of his discipline and dedication to the sport.

   Asgari credits the beginning of his playing career to his sister, Sophomore Natasha Asgari. He said, “She was playing at the time and recommended I try it out.” The rest is history.

   He is going on his third year of playing the sport, which has become a big part of his life. He said, “I started playing beach volleyball, because I play indoor. Beach volleyball helps a lot with getting better mechanics for indoor volleyball. It helps with passing, setting, and hitting, making you a better player overall.”

   Asgari has worked his way up to the number one seed for the Boys Beach Volleyball Team alongside Senior Dash Martin. “They are extremely competitive and yet really seem to enjoy the sport and their team camaraderie,” said Boys Beach Volleyball Coach Brooke Choi. There is much to admire about his game, something his former beach duo partner Junior Zion Granatowicz would agree with. “Anyone who’s seen him play knows he’s the most consistently good player on the team. There’s times where he’ll make a play that shocks everyone… Whenever we figure out our rhythm and he makes the play, it’s the greatest thing ever,” said Granatowicz. He continued, “Asgari really just goes at his own pace…. He’s pretty huge, so if you have him on your team and get him the right ball, he’s going to crush it.”

   Playing volleyball both indoor and outdoor, Asgari is well acquainted with the differences between the sports. Beach volleyball is played with just two people on one side of the court compared to six for indoor. It’s considered a gentleman’s sport, meaning players keep score to their best judgment, with no referee to make the calls.

    The outside setting, as opposed to an indoor gym, affects the game heavily. Asgari said, “The wind really impacts the way you pass. Also, both the sand and the fact that you’re not wearing shoes impacts how high you jump. The balls are also different. It’s pretty much a completely different sport.”

   Asgari has much appreciation for the sport. “Going to the beach for games, the atmosphere and playing outside are my favorite things about  [beach volleyball].”

   Asgari’s teammates often praise him for his enthusiasm. Granatowicz said, “He knows how to lift his partner up. He’s always with you and is just a great guy on and off the court.” His teammates agree that the team would not be the same without Asgari. “He’s tall, very strong, super athletic, and never lets you down… He just brings a great atmosphere to the team,” Granatowicz added.

  “The team definitely admires his skill as a hitter and blocker. He dominates other teams at the net,” said Choi. She hopes he continues to pursue the sport. She said, “One of the best things about beach volleyball is you can play your whole life, so I hope he continues to enjoy the sport in college and as he ages.” Best of luck to this talented athlete as he continues thriving in volleyball, whether it be in the sand or the gym.