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DP Girls’ Volleyball Hits the Sand

By Tim Heiduk

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Junior Audrey Baldwin digs a ball, while her partner, junior Cat Hogan, looks on. (Photo/Ruth McGolpin)

Junior Audrey Baldwin digs a ball while her partner, junior Cat Hogan, looks on. (Photo / Ruth McGolpin)

Dos Pueblos girls’ volleyball players are now taking their talent to the beach, competing in sand volleyball for the very first time.

“It’s really fun. I mean, my freshman year we tried to get a team together, and it never happened,” said junior Cat Hogan. “And then last year, after indoor season, my friends and I just decided that it was time to like start it. We all loved beach [volleyball], we all played it during the summer, and we just wanted to continue it.”

Sand volleyball is only a club sport this year, and is not yet sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). The team competes in the Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League (IBVL).

“I think it’s in the process of trying to become a CIF sport, but it’s not there yet,” said DP Athletic Director Dan Feldhaus. “There’s certain criteria that CIF has for a sport to become an official sport for the southern section.”

“I think it’s a year or two away, maybe two years away (from becoming a CIF sport),” said Feldhaus. “That’s my best guess.”

The team opened its season with wins over Buena and Foothill Technology of Ventura, in its first ever matches in team history. DP plays in a league with San Marcos, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Santa Ynez and Arroyo Grande.

The team is coached by Ruth McGolpin and Sam Maas. McGolpin, who was a volunteer assistant coach for the UCSB women’s volleyball team last year, was recently hired to be an assistant women’s volleyball coach at Westmont College.

The JV and Varsity rosters have a combined 18 players. A couple of these girls chose to play sand volleyball instead of a different spring sport. This includes sophomore Rocky Uyesaka, who is playing sand volleyball instead of softball even though her father, Jon Uyesaka, is the varsity softball coach.

“This year I chose to play sand volleyball instead of softball because I wanted to try a new sport,” said the younger Uyesaka. “Softball has always been a home to me and I’m glad I’ve played it for multiple years, but I have always had an interest in volleyball.”

Since sand volleyball is not a CIF sanctioned sport, players are allowed to play both high school sand volleyball and club indoor volleyball. This creates a busy schedule for many Chargers.

“I have practice every single day. I either have an indoor or a beach [practice],” said Hogan. “And like yesterday, last night, I had beach from 3:30-5:30 p.m., and then from 7-9 I had indoor.”

There are noticeable differences between playing volleyball indoors as opposed to on the sand.

“In sand, it’s just two people [per team] instead of six and it’s definitely a lot harder to move around,” said Junior Audrey Baldwin. “And you’re not allowed to open hand tip.”

“The court is a little smaller and the net’s a little lower,” Hogan said.

Currently, the team practices mostly at East Beach. Plans are in place to construct sand volleyball courts at DP on the plateau above the softball field.

“Before we can actually start fundraising, even though we have people committed to helping us out, we have to get the Santa Barbara School Board to approve us to fundraise,” said Feldhaus. “And we want to call the volleyball court by a specific name, so we have to get approval for the school board to name the court what we are going to name it.”

“After we get approval for that, then we’ll start asking for donations and corporate sponsorships,” said Feldhaus. “It’s about a $100,000 project.”

To view the Chargers’ schedule, click here.

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DP Girls’ Volleyball Hits the Sand