Beach Volleyball season ends, team members ‘proud,’ ‘excited’ for next year


Photo credit: Shannon Daley

Gillian Varnum ’20 and Yasi Soufer ’19 play a match. The match took place at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

It’s 3 o’clock, school’s out for the day and most students head home on the bus.  This isn’t the case for the 15 beach volleyball team members. Their day is just getting started as they head to the Santa Monica Beach.  

The team had their last game on April 26 against Pacifica Christian. Although the season ended at playoffs, many of the girls remained positive.  Bella Bernhardt ‘21 described the end of the season as really good and said she is looking forward to next year.  

“We all improved a lot and got along really well. We made it to playoffs which was really fun. I’m excited about next season and to see what’s to come,” Bernhardt said.  “[Most of us are] coming back because there were no seniors this year.”

Clara Miklaucic ‘20, a new team member to Archer’s beach volleyball team, described a memorable moment on the team.

“I remember that sometimes after games, Bella Bernhardt would help me get better and we would just practice for a few hours after because we had some extra time. We really bonded over that,” she said. 

This was one of the first years of playoffs for the team. Stella Smyth ’19, varsity team captain, commented on the season and team spirit.

“I’m really proud of the team.  I think we really worked together this year and we had one goal which was to put our all into anything that happened,” Smyth said. “We did well in playoffs, and last year we didn’t even qualify for playoffs. This is a huge step and I’m really proud.”

Smyth described a moment where she faced challenges but also felt rewarded.

“We almost tied with Marymount and we almost beat them. They beat us in the second game and crushed us; the first game was really good.  We were really strong and in the lead for a while. I’m really proud of that moment. ”

Smyth also added that although the team worked hard, and challenged themselves, they were also able to have fun.  She commented that after practices some days, the team would play in the ocean. She also mentioned that the coach Tom Slauterbeck brought the team pizza after practice one day.

Miklaucic will be leaving Archer after this year. She expressed gratitude that she was able to participate in the extracurricular.

“Overall, it’s a really great team, the coach is amazing, the girls are really sweet and supportive. I’m really glad that’s how I chose to spend my last semester at Archer.”