Freshmen serve up positive beach volleyball season


Gillian Varnum ’20 digs a ball while Aloha Suto ’19 runs to set it. In beach volleyball, players compete in two sets to 21 and a tie breaking third set to 15. Photo courtesy of Suto.

Enduring the blazing sun and constant wind, Archer’s entirely freshman varsity beach volleyball team competed from March 5 to April 26 and concluded with a 1-9 record.

Beach volleyball roster for the 2015-2016 season. The team was made up entirely of the Class of 2019. Infographic by Cybele Zhang '18.

Tom Slauterbeck and Amanda Andersen coach the team, which competed in the Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League (IBVL) against schools like Windward, Marymount and Pacifica Christian.

The team practiced daily at the Annenberg Community Beach House, where they also hosted home games.

“[The best part is] just being on the beach everyday,” Jenna Marks ’19 said.

A few of the players played indoor volleyball in addition, which helped them adapt to the beach.

Aloha Suto '19 serves the ball. A beach volleyball is softer, lighter and a little bigger than an indoor ball. Image courtesy of Suto.
Aloha Suto ’19 serves the ball. A beach volleyball is softer, lighter and a little bigger than an indoor ball. Photo courtesy of Suto.

“The wind is the hardest [part],” Stella Smyth ’19 said. “In the first week we hardly got anything done because we were still trying to get used to the wind.”

Beach volleyball is a pairs sports. Most girls have a set partner they compete with the entire season, but some pairs changed from game to game.

This was the first year in Archer history that the varsity team was entirely freshmen.

“Because most of us are justing starting [beach volleyball], and we play against a lot of girls older than us, we’re definitely at a disadvantage,” Smyth said. “But it’s still really fun. We all know each other and are really supportive. We have a lot of potential.”

“It’s a learning experience for everyone,” Marks said. “We know we aren’t going to win every game, but we go out there, try our hardest and have fun. That’s all that matters.”