Girls Beach Volleyball Springs Back After Major Delays Due to Rainfall


Josh Click

Beach Duo Senior Yasmin Merkel and Junior Stella Wright play against Our Lady of Peace.

Carolina Juarez, Staff Writer

   UC High’s Girls Beach Volleyball Team provides the girls a chance to play regardless of entry skill level, to allow improvement and enjoyment of the sport of beach volleyball, as well as to have a continuous development of players from year to year.

     Junior Kennedy Selleck has been on the Beach Volleyball Team since her sophomore year, and her main goal for the team this year is to win CIFs this season.

   Selleck said, “I think our team has improved the most in comradery since last year. Last year, it sometimes felt like we were all separate partner teams. This year, we feel united as one big team.”

   The biggest challenges the team has faced this season has been the delays. The team missed their first couple of weeks of the season due to rain and illness. The team also lost their assistant coach who had greatly enriched previous seasons, which was hard on the returning players.

   Selleck’s favorite part about beach volleyball is the ability and responsibility that team partners have over the whole court. Junior Andrea Lanatta-Valera said, “In beach volleyball, we have partners, so each team has different challenges and different ways of facing them depending on level and experience. However, our coach is a huge help to everyone.”

   Lanatta-Valera has also been playing since her sophomore year,  and is hoping to improve by being more consistent at passing and have better cut shots (a very sharp off-speed angle hit).

Lanatta-Valera wants to take her mentality from last season and change it. “If I stay positive and don’t let every mistake get in my head, then my playing will improve,” she said.

   Coach Mark Salata said, “Overall, there has been an improve-ment in their serving and attacking abilities individually, but it is the coordination between partners that I am hoping to see more and more.  The beauty of beach volleyball is that it looks deceptively easy to play, but each skill, like passing, setting, hitting, and serving, requires a complex set of movements that the team of two players must utilize in a coordinated fashion, much like dance partners.”

   The team’s most memorable match was last year, playing against La Jolla High School in their last match of the season. The winner would end up taking second place in League play, then have the chance to decide which team would be in Division I or Division II CIF playoffs. “With their DI commits we were still able to secure the win after the nail biting fifth match which brought us from tied 2-2 to 3-2,” said Selleck.

   Salata said, “Matches for beach volleyball have the top five teams (a team is one pair of players) from each school play against each other. Three or more of the teams from a school must win for the school to win the match.  For a team to win, they need to defeat the opposing pair by winning two out of three games. The first two games are played to 21 points (win by two). If a third game is needed to decide the winning team, then it is played to 15 (win by two).”