Last month marked the beginning of the beach volleyball regular season. West Valley Preps asked coaches to take a look at their teams:
Division I Section II
Co-coaches: Kelly O’Connor and Julie Vastine (Second year as co-coaches
2019 Record: 10-4 overall (reached Division I semifinals)
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute is the options we have with our line-up. We have girls who compete every day in practice and having the ability to make changes here and there in how we pair our girls, and their gracious flexibility helps us to compete with wherever, or who ever they play with. That is our best attribute is having a team mindset.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? #Connect2Compete is our mantra this year. Our primary goal is to connect with one another on every level, as an individual, teammate or partner. If we can connect to each other, we will be able to compete.
Who are your top returning pairs and players? Our top returners are Jordan Miller, Jocelyn Chavez Rivas, and Natalie Lopez.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Bianca Perez and Eryn Jones look to have an impact this year.
Mountain Ridge Mountain Lions
Division I Section II
Coach: Christina Jensen (second year as Mountain Ridge coach)
2019 Record: 4-7
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Motivation. We were very close to qualifying for state last season and being that close, but not making it, has stuck with these girls in the off season. Several girls have started playing beach volleyball year round and we have been focused on pre-season conditioning and mental focus for several months. There is an overwhelming drive to put in the hard work, win big matches and make an impact this year as a team.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? There has been a lot of work done by these young ladies in the off season to prepare for a strong beach season.
Who are your top returning pairs and players? We have a very strong team returning this season. Alissa Uhlenhop (junior)is returning as a strong team leader this year. Alissa and Jenna Jones who went to state to compete as an individual team last year. It was our first time sending an individual team to state competition. She is looking forward to representing us at state on an individual team again this season. We have several other strong returning players, Madison Girnius, Alyssa Schneider, Erryn Kozia, Devynn Sukung and Taylor Hilditch.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? We have a freshman, Gracie Birchfield, and sophomore, Azlynn Vasquez, who will be making a huge impact on our team this season. They both have a great background in beach volleyball and have brought some much needed fire and energy into the sand.
Northwest Christian Crusaders
Division II Section VI
Coach: Jenna Hope (first season as beach volleyball coach)
2019 Record: NA (2020 is program's first season)
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? The girls love the sport and are enjoying volleyball in a different environment. The girls always have high expectations for themselves. They want to be competitive in every match they play as well as compete for the state title.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? The girls always have high expectations for themselves. They want to be competitive in every match they play as well as compete for the state title.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Makenzie Wise and Kierstyn Barton have both been trained in beach and are highly competitive. We also have some strong indoor players coming out to play this season.