Q&A with varsity beach volleyball captain: Sophie Smyth

Sophie Smyth '17, front, dives for a ball, while Alizeh Jarrahy '20, back, runs toward her. In each game, the varsity players compete in different pairs. Image courtesy of Marlee Rice.

Sophie Smyth '17, front, dives for a ball, while Alizeh Jarrahy '20, back, runs toward her. In each game, the varsity players compete in different pairs. Image courtesy of Marlee Rice.

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With only two years of being an NCAA-regulated sport and just seven appearances at the Olympic Games, beach volleyball is one of the newest sports on the scene.

But closer to home, beach volleyball has already made a footprint on Archer Athletics, as the Panther’s varsity beach volleyball season is well underway.

The Oracle sat down with senior and captain Sophie Smyth to learn more about their season so far.

Why do you enjoy beach volleyball?

Sophie Smyth [SS]: I enjoy beach volleyball because we’re outside, by the ocean and the sun is out — most of the time. It’s a very inclusive sport. Although there are only two players on the [court], we switch partners and work together.

Many schools don’t have beach volleyball teams. Why is it important that Archer has one?

SS: Beach volleyball is an up and coming sport in high school and college, so by starting the beach program [five years ago] we have time to grow and become an even stronger team. In the future, we will have a really strong beach program. It also prepares volleyball players for the indoor season. The beach helps athletes get stronger and solidify skills, which will help the indoor team in the fall.

What is it like for you playing both beach and indoor volleyball?

SS: Beach is harder than indoor because there are only two players on the beach. You have to know how to pass, set and hit, but in indoor you often have one specialty. Beach makes you a well-rounded player, which then helps your indoor game. It also makes you move faster because after training on the sand, the ground is much easier to run on.

How has the season been so far?

SS: It has been really fun. There are lots of underclassmen, freshmen and sophomores, and their youth brings excitement. Our league is very difficult, so it’s important to stay positive and stay competitive.

As a senior, how does it feel to be in your last season as an Archer athlete?

SS: I am very happy to be on this team; it’s nice to spend time with the other girls. It is sad to leave, but I’m also excited for the future.

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