Local Volleyball Player Excelling on the Sand

Jul 24, 2014 2:05 AM by Ross Field

A Chico teenager has been spending a lot of time with her toes in the sand this summer.

Lily Justine is a standout volleyball player at Pleasant Valley High School, but she's also finding success at the beach.

"It's kind of like a mini vacation for me everytime I go to a beach and play, it's really nice," said Justine.

In about a-month-and-a-half, Justine has won three high profile tournaments in Santa Cruz.

Most recently though, she took third place with her playing partner Julia Chizankos at the U.S.A. Volleyball Beach High Performance National Championships in Hermosa Beach.

"I have so much fun, every tournament I go to I make new friends, it's really good competition and I get good experience," said Justine.

The differences between playing volleyball on the gym floor and the sand are easy to see. Less players, smaller courts and the biggest difference, no specialized positions. Beach volleyball players must be well-rounded and able to hit, dig and block.

"Outdoor, there's only two of you and it simplifies everything and it's so much more fun," said Justine.

Now that she's got a taste of success playing sand volleyball, Justine doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon. In fact she hopes the sport helps to set up her future.

"I would like to get a college scholarship," said Justine.

Now is the time to do so because sand volleyball is on the rise. More than forty colleges and universities have sponsored the sport since its first season in 2012.

"It's just only going to grow and the opportunities are only going to get bigger and bigger. It's just fun to be on a beach playing volleyball, doing what I love," said Justine.


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