Beach Volleyball Sets Up for Their Season

Horizon Honors will be having beach volleyball for the first time this year, and students are excited for this opportunity to improve and hopefully win state.

Hannah Browning, Campus Life Editor

This year Horizon Honors has a girls’ beach volleyball team. Because of the success of the girls’ volleyball team earlier this year, they are excited about this opportunity. The team hopes to improve their skills in this new sport by using previous knowledge from their experience from volleyball and beach volleyball and hope to have a chance to win the State Championships.

The Horizon Sun: Why did you want to play beach volleyball?

Alexa Marshall, junior: I play beach volleyball because it is something new but also something I thoroughly enjoy playing! I love playing with my partner and playing against other teammates. I also love the more chill atmosphere there.

Giuliana Castronova, senior: I wanted to play beach volleyball because I just came off of a very exciting and very successful indoor volleyball season and couldn’t wait to get back to playing volleyball for Horizon Honors. Also, I am not playing club volleyball this year wanted to find a way to still be active in the sport I love most. Sand volleyball was the best option! Lastly, Erica Kendree [junior] is my partner, and the best person ever, as well as Coach Maglunog is super awesome so I knew this would be a fun, memorable season I just couldn’t miss out on.

Isabella Torres, freshman: I wanted to play beach volleyball because I thought it was a great opportunity to try something new, and I thought it would be fun.

Roshi Patel, junior: [I wanted to] because it was a new sport for us. It’s so different from indoor and was just a good opportunity to get better for school [indoor volleyball] season.

Michelle Ogle, senior: It was a new sport this year, and a lot of my friends were playing, and I thought it would be a fun way to end my senior year.

Hannah Rutledge, junior: I wanted to better my skills as a whole because you play every position, and I also wanted to prepare myself for next school season for court because again, better potential.

Camryn Dunn, freshman: Well I was debating it at the beginning, but because I have some past experience in it, but then I was going not to do it, and then they were short on girls so they convinced me to do it again.

Hanna Goff, freshman: [I wanted to play beach volleyball] because I really like indoor volleyball, and I like to hang out with my friends and play sports.

The Sun: What experience do you have with beach volleyball?

AM: I haven’t played much, but I have played a few tournaments before.

GC: My younger sister, Gabby Castronova (sophomore), and I spend a lot of our summers in Del Mar, California, and for a couple summers we joined the San Diego Beach Volleyball Club. We played and trained with them for weeks at a time. It was super competitive and exhausting but at the same time the highlight of our summers! Sparked by this experience, I also decided to play club sand volleyball with Erica Kendree for one season through One Beach.

IT: I don’t have much experience. I played court volleyball last year and had a lot of fun doing that, so I thought it would be good to try beach volleyball.

RP: [I do] not [have] very much [experience]. All of us are pretty new to it, so it’s a good experience for us to get better.

MO: I played on a club sand team for a season, and I just kind of play for fun most of the time, since I play indoor.

HR: I mean, I’ve played for fun, but it’s never been competitive, so this is my first year playing competitive beach [volleyball].

CD: When I used to play outside of school, on Wednesdays we used to practice at a sand court, and I played during seventh grade year on the Horizon [indoor volleyball] team.

HG: So far, it’s been an okay one, and I had a concussion at the beginning of the season so I haven’t been getting to play a lot but right now it’s been pretty good.

The Sun: Do you feel any added pressure to do well during the season because girls’ volleyball won state earlier this year?

AM: I don’t feel any added pressure mainly because it is the first season of volleyball and we are just trying it out.

GC: This is a good question. I definitely do feel some pressure but not necessarily from my peers or parents, but mostly from within myself. I was a captain for the girls’ volleyball team and I am captain again for the sand volleyball team. I love leading and fulfilling this title, but I take any losses personally and am extremely competitive so I really really hate losing. I know how rewarding it felt after winning the State Championship this year and the only thing I want is to do it again. This is the first season of sand volleyball Horizon Honors has ever had so there are many things we need to figure out that may act as a disadvantage due to our inexperience. Otherwise, I think we totally have the ability to win another State Championship and, because of this, I put pressure on myself to do everything I can to make that happen. Not just for myself, but because Coach Maglunog deserves it and all the other girls on this team deserve it; especially the ones who didn’t get to experience winning State earlier this year.

IT: I feel a little bit of added pressure, but overall, beach volleyball is pretty laid back so I know that all I can do is try my best.

RP: A little bit, but I think it’s two completely different sports, so we’re in good contention to win state.

MO: Not really, just because it’s a different sport and we don’t have the same team, but I think that we have a good chance at winning it.

HR: I don’t think there’s pressure. I think there’s more desire. I think we want to, just because we’re like, “Wow, we already won one state. What’s going to stop us from winning more?” I think there’s no more pressure, it’s just like we want to have fun, but we also want to be competitive while doing that.

CD: No, I think we have a pretty good shot at making it to state this year and it’s just really relaxed and really fun and I think we’ll make it to state this year.

HG: I mean, I guess there’s a slight pressure because Mag [Maglunog] really wants to win.

The Sun: What are your hopes and goals for the season?

AM: My hope is that my partner and I can move up to the 2s team. And that I just improve overall and hopefully we can win state!

GC: My biggest goal for this season is, of course, to win State. All the work we put into this season doesn’t mean anything without keeping the championship in mind! Other than State, I just want this team to be able to finish the season with no regrets. We could use a thousand excuses to compensate for anything that happens this season but if all we do is play our best and learn from every experience, I will be extremely happy and proud. Already we have come a long way and the improvement since day one is exceedingly evident. I can only imagine how the rest of the season will play out!

IT: I hope to improve my volleyball skills and just have fun this season.

RP: Our biggest goal is to win state, and then personally just to improve for indoor.

MO: We want to win state. That’s definitely our goal, and we obviously want to have fun also.

HR: [Our goal is] to win state, and just become a better all-around player and build better relationships with my teammates.

CD: [I hope] that we make it to state.

HG: I hope to get better at beach volleyball and become closer with some of my friends.

The Sun: What is your favorite part of beach volleyball?

AM: My favorite part is the atmosphere and playing! Practices are fun and I love going to play! The people are great and playing is a blast.

GC: My favorite part of beach volleyball has to be how different it is from indoor volleyball. Despite what most people think, they truly are two completely different sports. Playing sand volleyball does not come as easy to me as indoor does, but I love the challenge. This game is much more strategic and you hold a lot more responsibility on the court. In indoor, you can rely on your teammates to pick you up or play better when you are not at your best, but in sand, it is just you and one other person. Having a bad day or not being able to get out of a mental rut will cost you the whole game and drag your partner down with you. It’s important to play for your partner, not just with her. If you decide to skip a practice or not participate in weights and training, it just hurts you and your partner and no one can be subbed in for you or make things easier. This makes the game that much more interesting. Additionally, the rules are much different in sand and there are many moves that are allowed in indoor that are illegal in sand. Working around this is uncomfortable for me but being pushed out of your comfort zone only leads to more opportunity for success.

IT: My favorite part of beach volleyball is probably just how laid back it is, but I do enjoy running the ball down and getting it back onto the court to where my partner can hopefully make a great play out of it.

RP: I just like how different it is from indoor, and how you only have to play with one person.

MO: I like how it’s only two people because you really form a strong connection with your partner because you have to work with them all the time.

HR: That’s complicated. I don’t know. I keep saying “all-around player” but like it makes you more agile and it’s quicker, like it’s faster paced but also you’re putting in so much more work, like you feel like you’ve earned every point which I think is like the best thing.

CD: I love how relaxed it is.

HG: My favorite part of beach volleyball is [that] you get a lot of playing time because there’s only two players on the court, and I like that because in indoor there’s more subs, and in sand you just get to have fun with your partner and play sand.

The team’s first game is on Friday, March 3, 2017, and they are ready to start off strong and hopefully be competitive.