Jennifer Schmid

Junior, Marie Alsperger, gets ready to set during a game against Lyman High School.

Jessica Ty , Photographer

As the warmth of the sun scorch their backs, they leap forward, spiking the sandy ball with the center of their palms. With several teams already established throughout Seminole County, Seminole High School finally introduces a new sport: Girls Beach Volleyball. Carrying determined hearts, these players wish for a successful season and many more to come.

Compared to indoor volleyball, beach volleyball only consists of two players on the court rather than six. Shifting rapidly from one position to another, beach volleyball players must consistently accomplish different tasks at once: passing, setting, and hitting. Senior Varsity player Danelle Branch learns the importance of remaining patient when adjusting with these changes.

“It could be frustrating at times when I make a mistake at one of the things I don’t do in an indoor setting, but I learn to push through it because it’s only my partner and I who can close the game to win,” said Branch.

Though they experienced a few hardships so far this season such as finding a set location for practices or adjusting with their other partner on the court, the passion inflamed within each of the players encourages them to maintain a positive mindset. This dedication instilled in their hearts transpires towards a dream of playing college level volleyball. With extra practice before the next fall season, beach volleyball provides them with new opportunities to reach their goals.

“I want to help better the team since it is the first beach volleyball season and I thought the outside environment would help improve stamina and endurance” said junior Marie Alsperger.

The devotion of various professional athletes such as Caroline Knopp, Kerri Walsh Jennings, and April Ross inspire several of the Seminole players.  By setting a precedent for them, they constantly find room for growth and looks up to players who have a similar mindset.

“April Ross inspires me to continue playing because of their immense passion for the sport and strive to perfect their craft,” said Branch.

For these players, not only does volleyball teach them technical skills, but also important life lessons. With the different lessons they learn on and off the court, one thing remains constant: their dedication to reach the top.

Currently upholding a winning record of 4-0, this team hopes to finish off strong and potentially win a district or a state title. As they implement new fundraisers, they also wish to acquire a few beach courts for the next year.