Hitting the Beach: Beach Ball paying dividends for local athletes

Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on VYPE

IT'S A SPORT THAT FORCES YOU TO BE GOOD AT EVERYTHING. Every position. Every skill. Every portion of volleyball – hitting, serving, ball placement, communication and physical endurance – that usually takes six players to fully operate.

Instead, it is just you and one teammate, roaming a slightly smaller court. But the biggest difference is the fact that the hardwood floor that you would normally launch yourself off is replaced with the always shifting sand.

"Beach volleyball is extremely challenging," Goose Creek Memorial's Zoe Martinez, who first saw beach volleyball in a magazine when she was 10, said. "It tests all of your skills as a volleyball player."

Martinez and teammate Nadia Karabanoff of Barbers Hill accepted the challenging sport and qualified for the USAV Beach Nationals in California at a tournament in Galveston this past summer. This marked the third time Martinez has qualified for the national beach tournament.

Karabanoff, who is coming off a solid freshman season for the Eagles, is using her sand season to improve her indoor game, which she is hoping will pay off starting in August.

"The sprints, jumps and countless touches on the ball in the hot Texas sand have all taken part in preparing me for the upcoming fall season," Karabanoff said. "I feel that training in the sand not only elevates the physical skills of the game but also the mental. Working through my own mistakes and finding ways to correct them without the help of a coach develops me into an overall better player."


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By Bradley Collier

Originally Appeared on VYPE

On paper, Aldine Davis should be the best returning Aldine ISD volleyball squad for the 2019 campaign.

But that's just on paper.

Starla Jones, the reigning District 16-6A Coach of the Year, has been persistent this offseason in reminding her team that the successes of last year are just that. They are last season's, which doesn't entitle her group to that same success in 2019.

"I think it's going to give them some confidence that they have a year under their belt," Jones said. "But it's a new season, a new team. Last year is last year. I'm reminding them that we've got to start all over. It's going to take some work like it did before.

"We can't settle, and we can't expect to be at the top just because we were last year."

Last season, Aldine Davis went 20- 26-1 overall and 10-4 in District 16-6A play to finish in a tie for second place with MacArthur.

"I've told them, you do realize because you were up there you are definitely one of the teams to beat," Jones said. "Everybody's going to be pumped. I don't care what team it is. They're going to be ready to play you."

Returning to the court for the Falcons this season is District 16-6A Newcomer of the Year Kiyah Felder, first-team selections Ashlyn Laymond and Tavia Harrell and second-teamer Hailey Harris. Also returning is Lyric Carwell, who was an honorable mention.

What excites Jones the most about this group is that this summer the girls put in the needed work to get better in the weight room.


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