Cabrillo College started a Sand Volleyball team for the first time ever this past year and it finally came to a wrap in the summer. The Seahawks became a reality years before their time as influencers like Dale Murray, Athletic Director of Cabrillo College, pushed against the odds to make it happen.
It was only six years ago that Sand Volleyball was hitting the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). And at the start of this year it will be a fully sanctioned NCAA sport, meaning there will be more opportunities to send players from Cabrillo to 4-year colleges.
Lucas Bol, Coach of the Seahawks gave a rundown of how the first year went. “We had a small team due to some injuries. We ended up with 10 players. But we worked hard, stuck together, and it was really successful.”
Bol said it was a good experience for him as his first time coaching the sand volleyball team and for the students, the first time being on a sand volleyball team in college.
It definitely was a success for Cabrillo College as The Seahawks made it to the State Championships and won the Nor-Cal division.
“After that we headed down to Southern California and played some really tough teams like Irvine Valley, who’ve had club programs for 4 years,” explained Bol.
“Nor-Cal is a little late to the party. Irvine players and some others had a lot of experience.”
Even though The Seahawks didn’t win in Southern California this year, the team made 4th in the state overall.
This year, the team will be losing the two best players they had on the team last year, Kelsey Shaver and Alexa Rosendale. Shaver went to West Texas A & M to play indoor and Rosendale went on to pursue her graduate degree.
“Rosendale was a four-year indoor athlete,” said Bol. “She came home and I recruited her for a year and it was awesome. I expect to get those kind of players often. That is my recruiting outlook. Giving people a competitive opportunity to play. I would like to give everyone an opportunity to play. We had Kim who was a mother, 44 years old, come back and killed it. If I could give everyone in the community that kind of opportunity that would be awesome.”
Bol is now recruiting for this year and they don’t have a set team yet. “We get a lot of players from indoor volleyball. Getting players who only play sand is also fantastic.”
Bol was assistant coach of the indoor team for three years before coaching the Sand Volleyball team. He originally started playing volleyball in elementary school. He was born and raised in Aptos and then went to Cabrillo and UCSC and stayed very local in the community.
“I started playing beach in high school and not nearly enough. I regret not playing more when I was that young. Now I’m giving young kids an opportunity to play at 13 and 14 years old. There are even 10 year olds out there playing. It’s such an awesome thing to see.”
“When I finally started playing beach volleyball it opened my eyes and I was like, why have I been living so close to the beach and not playing beach volleyball? I was all indoor, everything was indoor. I really missed out on a part of where I live. I love volleyball and love the beach. How did I manage to not play beach?”
In the last 10 years he’s made up for it, training with a lot of good players and having strong mentors. “Mark Hull has been my go-to mentor. He was my high school coach/teacher/mentor throughout my high school years and then I continued to work with him for years after high school, doing tournaments with him, coaching with him, doing yard work just to hang out with him as much as I could. He’s really helped me develop who I am in terms of everything, really. And now he’s my assistant coach at Aptos. He’s the man.”
When sand volleyball was just hitting the NCAA, it was fairly popular but still there weren’t as many players. Now there are hundreds down at Main Beach playing.
Starting this 2015-2016 year, the Pacific 12 (Pac-12) schools finally have a full volleyball conference. Pac-12 is a collegiate athletic conference operating in the Western United States. It participates in 23 NCAA sports in the NCAA Division. Sand Volleyball is the most recent to join.
Bol coaches the Main Beach Volleyball Club, raising up younger players to compete as well.
“About the same time that NCAA started working with Sand Volleyball, our club director Jan Furman and Mark Hull started a beach volleyball club which was really before its time but they had a heads up way of thinking. Ever since then I’ve been their beach guy working closely with Mark Hull. He recently stepped down and I took over.”
“Six years ago we were the only beach club in Northern California and as of last year, I can’t count how many there are; they’re all over, popping up in all kinds of communities. There’s a lot of good volleyball happening.”
- Lucas Bol does private coaching for kids and adults as well. You can find more information here: http://www.digsantacruz.com/lessons/