This spring, Laguna Blanca School is starting a new club team sport to Santa Barbara — girls’ sand volleyball.
Laguna Blanca will join a short list of schools in the United States that have come on board to support the growth of sand volleyball at the high school level, and will become the first high school north of Westlake to field a team.
Laguna’s indoor volleyball teams have earned numerous championships and awards in recent years, and with a commitment and passion for this sport, the school is expanding its sports program to allow more opportunity for its student athletes. The girls’ volleyball team alone has won 11 consecutive Condor League Championships, and has participated in six CIF Finals, winning the CIF Championship in 2006.
This new sand sport will serve as great conditioning and a cross trainer for indoor volleyball and will improve the student athletes’ all-around skills. This is also an opportunity to play a game that is now a competitive college sport. As an emerging NCAA sport, colleges are now offering the opportunity to play sand volleyball for their schools. Currently, there are 22 schools in the nation that field a team, with new schools adding the sport each season.
“Sand volleyball gives Laguna students another option for a spring sport,” Athletics Director Mike Biermann said. “For our many incredible volleyball student athletes, this new club will give them a great conditioning and learning opportunity. And with colleges starting up their own sand volleyball programs, we want to make sure our girls are ready for that challenge.”
The Laguna Blanca sand volleyball team will play in five tournaments in Santa Monica or El Segundo as part of the AAU Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League. Their practices will take place at Santa Barbara’s East Beach — not all sand volleyball teams in the country are as lucky to have beaches, hence the “sand volleyball” title.
Dillan Bennett is the head coach, assisted by Julia Chamberlain. They have a full roster of 12 girls signed up, and practices began last Tuesday.
The spring 2013 Laguna Blanca sand volleyball team lineup includes Clara Madsen, Phoebe Madsen, Bella Taron, Courtney O’Donnell, Jessie Dusebout, Grace Copeland, Chloe Richman, Maddie Bonser,Bryn Jewett, Hannah White, Grace Woolf and MacKenna Connor, and alternates Marla Bonser and Annabelle Sorenson.
— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing Laguna Blanca School.