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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