By Andrew Franceski, Staff Reporter The weather is warming, the birds are chirping and Conestoga has an exciting new club: The Sand Volleyball Club. The club is coached by Conestoga varsity volleyball coach Diana Felker and meets Wednesday and Thursday from 3-5 p.m. at Easttown Library to practice, and play. Since sand volleyball, which was...
By Andrew Franceski, Staff Reporter
The weather is warming, the birds are chirping and Conestoga has an exciting new club: The Sand Volleyball Club. The club is coached by Conestoga varsity volleyball coach Diana Felker and meets Wednesday and Thursday from 3-5 p.m. at Easttown Library to practice, and play.
Since sand volleyball, which was a fun part of Felker’s childhood, is growing in popularity across the country, she decided to seize the chance to start a club.
“I grew up playing beach volleyball in California and have wanted to get something started here for a while. It’s a rapidly-growing NCAA sport, and it’s a lot of fun, and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to start a club here. Ultimately, I would love for sand volleyball to become a club sport at Conestoga, and I hope this club encourages more schools to start similar programs.”
Sand volleyball incorporates many of the skills found in indoor volleyball with some new challenges. The court, for example, is outside and smaller at 26 feet by 52 feet, whereas an indoor court is 30 feet by 60 feet. There are only two players on a sand volleyball court versus six in indoor volleyball, changing the strategy and the skills that must be employed on sand. Lastly, in a sand volleyball game, there are no substitute players allowed, making the games a test of endurance as well as skill.
These new challenges made the club alluring to junior Sammy Goldman.
“I’m excited to play outside, but there are some difficulties,” Goldman said. “It is harder to move on sand, and the area each player must cover is larger. I also have to factor in the weather on my hits, which is new, as I usually play inside.”
Junior Ashlyn Kiley is also looking forward to playing in the club and sharpening her skills.
“I think (playing sand volleyball) will be really good practice for me and will especially help my communication skills,” Kiley said. “I also think it’s great practice in general. As there are only two people on each side, I have to play all positions and stay alert: all valuable skills both indoors and outside.”
The club also gives the players a chance to see each other as the school year winds down, something very important to many, like sophomore Ashley Levine.
“I’m really excited to play with old teammates and meet new people and just have fun while playing (the) sport we all love,” Levine said. “It will also be great practice for next year and should be a fun experience overall.”
The excitement of playing with new and old teammates and the camaraderie the players share is a driving force in playing sand volleyball and will provide an exciting opportunity for all the players, including Goldman.
“Playing with my friends, laughing, talking, making memories: that is what makes high school fun for me,” Goldman said. “To be able to do those things and play the sport I love is an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to play.”
Andrew Franceski can be reached at [email protected]
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