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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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April 19, 2024
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April 18, 2024

Beach Is Back and Better Than Ever

Kate Meyjes
Senior captain Izzy Grimmer

 Bump, set, spike, and sand. Beach volleyball is back for another year at Piedmont after its inaugural season last spring, under a new coach, Justin Hoover. 

  Hoover has played both beach and indoor volleyball his whole life and has been coaching indoor volleyball since 1998. He is also the indoor coach for Piedmont Middle School, Piedmont High School, and various club teams. 

  “I’ve been working a lot on refining my coaching abilities with a number of professional coaches, so I’m really excited to work with these young people to get their volleyball level up, and also to bring new people in to experience the sport,” Hoover said.

  Along with a new coach, the team now has 19 players with a varsity, JV, and developmental team. Last season they only had eight players. 

  Last year’s captain senior Izzy Grimmer is one of three players returning to the sand. The rest of the team are primarily indoor volleyball players or have never played beach volleyball at all.   

  Junior Kalindi Kim is a new player on the beach volleyball team, but she has played on Piedmont’s indoor team since her freshman year. Kim said she’s still getting used to the changes, but it’s a fun experience. 

  “Beach volleyball goes from six to two players on the court, so it’s a different team dynamic. The way players communicate definitely changes too,” Kim said. 

 The team had their first tournament on Feb. 24 at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Grimmer said although it was spur of the moment, considering they had tryouts only a week before, Piedmont’s young team competed against developed programs. 

  “We’re playing teams like Half Moon Bay and Cardinal Newman who have massive programs and girls who are committed to schools for [beach volleyball]. They’re definitely at a higher level, which is really fun,” Grimmer said. 

  Currently, the team is practicing three days a week at Moraga Commons, Grimmer said, but soon they will be practicing there only one day and the rest at Bern Courts new turf volleyball courts. 

  “[The turf surface] is very different from sand,” Grimmer said. “I’m curious to see how that will be.”

  Hoover believes that the lack of adequate practice facilities could hinder the success of the program, and it may deter players from joining the team.

  “[It’s] actually a serious issue because other schools have courts and Piedmont, I really think, needs a court,” Hoover said. 

  Looking ahead to the rest of the season and the upcoming years, Grimmer said she is excited to build team camaraderie, skills, and overall grow the team into a sport that thrives in Piedmont. 

  “It’s so special. I’m definitely just soaking it all in. [We are] trying to grow it with younger indoor volleyball players along with people who have never played at all,” Grimmer said. 

  Hoover shares similar goals to Grimmer. 

  “This season is a season that we’re trying to stabilize and grow the program. So that means making sure that it’s accessible. Everybody who wants to play [can] even if it’s not at the highest level. We want them to come and try with us. And then for the more advanced folks, it’s to really get them the good skills they can use to improve their game to sharpen their tools,” Hoover said.

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About the Contributor
Kate Meyjes
Kate Meyjes, Arts Editor
Kate Meyjes (11) is the arts editor at TPH. Along with writing for TPH she is on the varsity water polo and swim team, is an avid reader, and loves to hang out with her friends on the weekends.
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