Beach volleyball is here!

Kiera DeCesare, News Editor

Beach volleyball, despite being one of the most popular girls’ sports in the area, is a sport that debuted this season at Gulf Breeze High School. Currently, the beach volleyball team hasn’t lost a single match. They recently beat 3 strong teams from Tallahassee, Chiles High School, Leon High School and Godby High School, 5-0 and have a 9-0 overall record. According to MaxPreps, they are ranked 2nd in the state, and 2nd in the nation. 

Each beach volleyball game at the high school level is played by 2 players from each school competing. The goal is to win 2 sets, a set is won by the duo who first scores 21 points. Points can either be scored by serving, penalties  or by having the ball land on the opposing team’s side of the court. If each team has won one set, they go to a 3rd tie breaker set, which is won by being the first pair to score 21 points. Some indoor rules, like no double touches and the ball can’t go under the net also apply in beach volleyball.  

   When asked about competition, Riley Bloomberg, the sole junior on the team, said that she believes the strongest competition exists in South Florida, and the regions surrounding it. She said, “They are able to practice often as the weather is nice, and there’s just a lot of talent concentrated in the Miami and South Florida area, as beach volleyball is even bigger there than it is here.” 

Bloomberg said that her and many other players’ original focus wasn’t on beach volleyball, but on indoor and club volleyball. She said, “My old coach, Brent, wanted me and the girls on the team to play beach volleyball. Over the pandemic, we all had a bunch of free time, so we would go out and play together, so our passion and skill for the sport grew, that’s when I got really into the sport.” 

Although the season isn’t over, Bloomberg said her favorite part of the season was when her coaches announced that her partner was her close friend, Bella Satterwhite. She said, “I was so excited I literally screamed when the coaches announced that we were partners.” She says that the most satisfying part of playing is getting a kill against the opposing team. 

The Gulf Breeze High School beach volleyball team puts incredible amounts of work into developing their skills, having morning practice on top of other training and team bonding activities.