Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

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A New Wave Of Volleyball Debuts At Venice

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Venice High is debuting a brand new sport: girls’ beach Volleyball. The team is currently being coached by math teacher Charlie Styrbicki.
“I really love playing beach volleyball, and there was an opportunity to coach,” he said.
“I was like, ‘If you guys want me to coach, I would love to coach.’”
According to Styrbicki, LAUSD is relatively new to the sport, with only a handful of schools having prior experience. 

“The longest-tenured schools are Palisades and some schools in the Valley,” he said.
“They’ve been doing this for a while—this is their third year.”
With only so many schools competing in the sport, Venice’s league is composed of schoolslike Birmingham, San Pedro, Chatsworth, and Taft—none of which are familiar faces in the Western League.

While beach Volleyball and indoor Volleyball may seem dissimilar, there are many key contrasts. The sport is two-on-two instead of six-on-six; gameplay takes place on the beach and “elements like the sun, the wind, and the sand” come into play.

“It makes it not as easy to maneuver as a nice indoor court,” Styrbicki said.
Junior Savannah Rozell, who plays the number one seed with sophomore Sam Lortie, emphasizes the importance of chemistry on the beach. 

“If you don’t get along with your partner, or if you don’t play well with your partner, you can’t really do anything about it, because there’s only two people on the court.”
Lortie also added that “everything you’re going to do will affect you and your partner, so everything is individual.”
“You definitely want to play better, because if you mess up the first pass, it’s up to your partner to kind of recover from that. So you definitely want to make every ball as good as possible,” she said.
With many of the beach volleyball players being familiar with each other via indoor volleyball, chemistry is the team’s strength.
“I think all of us are pretty good friends inside and outside of school,” Rozell said. “Putting all of that into a team just created a healthy and good knit group. There’s no toxic energy—everyone’s in it together. Everyone wants to do the best they can.”
Going into their third tournament of the season tomorrow at Santa Monica State Beach, the Gondoliers want to make it as far as possible because “Venice has never had a beach team before,” according to Rozell.

“We want to set the expectations for the next season pretty high, just so that we can build off of that,” she said. 

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