Delta takes volleyball to the beach this spring

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Delta College’s newest sport hits the sand on Feb. 24.

This year marks the inaugural year for Beach Volleyball. The team started practice on Jan. 24. The new sport is a small departure from the pre-existing indoor volleyball offered at Delta during the fall.

Players now have the opportunity to play volleyball year round.

The new beach volleyball team will be competing in the Big 8 beach conference that consists of Delta, Sierra, Feather River, Marlin, Cabrillo and Redwoods College.

Delta will host two games at University of the Pacific beach volleyball courts. The team’s practices will also be at the four-year campus as Delta’s facilities don’t include a sand court.

The new sport comes with new rules as beach volleyball consists of some very prevalent differences from its indoor counterpart.

Rather than having six players compete which is standard in indoor, beach volleyball consist of two-person teams where they play five sets of two.

“There are some differences. Any contact cannot be a double … both hands have to have contact with the ball. Thats probably the biggest adjustment for the girls,” said Assistant Volleyball Coach Kristie Plateau.

Players from the indoor team have made the transition to beach volleyball and together they’re tackling a new challenge as a team.

“The sand, in general, I don’t think many have played in it and it’s definitely movements and communicating is super important which we worked on all last season … people are diving for things I don’t think they would ever dive for indoor,” said Mika Fithian, a seasoned volleyball player.

The outdoor elements are an ever-prevalent factor of beach volleyball as players at the first and second practices were met with a pretty hefty rainfall.

The natural elements won’t hinder games as games won’t be postponed due to weather, unless there is lightning within five seconds of thunder.

“They’ve been wet, it poured rain the entire time yesterday, which is good because we might end up playing in these conditions … so they might end up having to play in the rain,” said Plateau.

The team’s first outing will be when it participates in the Sacramento State University pairs exhibition on Feb. 24. at 9 a.m. in Folsom.

The first home game will be against Marlin on March 23, time still to be determined, at the University of Pacific beach volleyball courts, located near the school’s Pershing Avenue entrance.