The official women’s varsity volleyball season concluded in November. However, not all players were ready to give up playing with a team until next season.
Sophomore Capri Lica had the idea and initiative to start a beach volleyball club. Lica noticed that various other schools in Broward County had the club sport, and thought it was a great opportunity to introduce this club to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Lica has played beach volleyball for years, and when she came to MSD in October, she decided that she would make her favorite hobby available to all students.
“I decided to create this club, not only because I enjoy playing, but because it opens a new realm of activity for students who don’t have the opportunity to participate outside of school,” Lica says.
Tryouts were open and available for anyone. They were held in late December, but the sport did not officially commence until after winter break in January.
Lica was impressed with the large turnout, especially since the club had only been announced a month in advance.
Sophomore Izzy Sandbrand was also surprised by the turnout and was very pleased to make the team after hearing about it from her friends.
“Around 15 people showed up; it’s great. Beach volleyball is so much fun, and I love my teammates,” Sandbrand said.
Lica’s father assisted her in finding and recruiting a coach that would be interested in coaching the team. Together, they approached their family friend, who is a very well-known volleyball coach. Following a string of discussions, Lica was able to enlist professional beach volleyball coach Dave Palm.
Palm was awarded the National Volleyball League’s Breakthrough Athlete of the Year in 2014, and also won his first NVL tournament at the Panama City Beach Championships in 2015.
Although this sport started recently, the team has been rapidly practicing in order to catch up with the teams that already had games in this season. Practices vary from two to four times a week. Usually, they’re on Mondays and Wednesdays, but sometimes they can be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays depending on court space.
“Practices can last up to three or four hours, but mostly are only one,” Lica says. “The reason practices last so long is because our main goal is to go over our communication, offense and defense.”
The MSD beach volleyball team is part of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference High School Beach Volleyball League, which is in its second season. The league is a partnership by both SSAC and the Florida Region of USA Volleyball.
The MSD team is in the Class AA South Florida Division along with Fort Lauderdale High School, iMater Preparatory School, Archbishop McCarthy High School, Western High School and Vero Beach High School.
The beach volleyball team had their first scrimmage on Tuesday, Mar. 12. The team played against Archbishop McCarthy High School. The game was located at Weston Regional Park at 3 p.m. Although the scores were close, Archbishop won the scrimmage.
The team had their first official game on Mar. 14 against Fort Lauderdale High School. MSD beat Fort Lauderdale High School 5-2.
“I feel as our game today went really well,” sophomore Sofie Cheremeta said. “Of course we have to work on some skills to better ourselves but overall, I’m really proud of our team.”
The team will play a total of six games before their season ends in April.
This story was originally published in the April 2019 Eagle Eye print edition.