The little known Fullerton College sand volleyball team is gearing up for their third season. This year will be the biggest year yet, with a rise from four teams to 14.
The first year was only Fullerton College and IVC. The teams will be competing on March 15 and Marc h 22 at Golden West College to decide who will take home the title of North Central Conference.
The conference consists of FC, Golden West, Orange Coast College and Long Beach City College. The top two teams will move on to a regional playoff in April.
Although sand volleyball has not yet been sanctioned as an official intercollegiate sport at FC yet, there is a chance that it can provide for a way for students to get into universities easier.
“Some four year universities have begun to give out athletic scholarships for sand volleyball,” said FC coach Eddie Rapp. “It is a great opportunity for some great student athletes.”
People may think that the sport is too much like the women’s indoor volleyball team that Fullerton College already has, but Rap seems to disagree.
“It is a sport completely independent of indoor volleyball,” Rapp said. “It is only two-on-two as opposed to five-on-five, so there is less room for error and the girls have to be proficient in all aspects of volleyball.”
“You need to be proficient in all aspects of the game,” added Kelsey Smith, a player on this year’s team. “In indoor, you may be able to get away with not being too great of a setter, if you are a great defensive player.”
Another main difference that you face in sand volleyball is environmental factors.
“The environment can definitely cause some problems, “ Rapp said. “You have to play in wind and rain, and cover more ground in the sun and on the sand. It is really important to maximize your athleticism.”
Smith even mentioned that playing sand volleyball in the spring will help the girls that also play indoor in the fall.
“Training on the sand definitely strengthens your legs, because you have to jump off of sinking sand, as opposed to a court designed for the game,” Smith said. “Back when I played in high school we would train a week out of the season at a beach volleyball camp.”
The team is excited to begin playing this season, and plans to contend for the North Central conference title, and hopefully beyond.
“The way it works, is that every match includes five doubles games, where your number one pair matches up with their number one pair,” said Rapp. “The team we have is the type of team where the number fives can play against the number ones, and the reserves can move up and take a spot at any time.”
This is Smith’s first year on the team, but she feels that the team has a lot of chemistry, and is very confident in their abilities.
“I did not play last semester, but there is a lot of chemistry and we know each other well,” Smith said. “Eddie really takes the time to get to know his players, and paired us up well.”
Rapp seems confident that sand volleyball will be recognized as an official sport someday soon, but until then, the team will continue to compete against the 13 other schools.
think it will happen sooner rather than later,” Rapp added. “Our dean and the
dean at IVC have headed up efforts, and it seems that title