CRESTVIEW — School's out, but many area high school volleyball players are staying active by playing beach volleyball.
“We see volleyball as our escape,” said Meghan Deitz, 16, of Crestview.
Meghan, a Crestview High School varsity volleyball player, is one of several teenagers competing in local beach volleyball tournaments.
The volleyball skills they learn in the sand can easily transition to the indoor game, the players said.
“It improves your game 100 percent,” Miranda Hohman, 16, said. “This helps you read the ball better.”
'You cannot hide'
Players receive tips from Crestview resident Sam Nimpchaimanatham and his Sand Turtles Volleyball Club. He regularly coaches volleyball at his residence's regulation-sized court.
“With indoor (volleyball) you can get six points without touching the ball,” he said. “(With outdoor) you have to be involved with every single point; you cannot hide your weakness.”
Nimpchaimanatham, who previously represented the U.S. Armed Forces in international volleyball tournaments, has coached students at several area schools, including Crestview and Fort Walton Beach high schools.
Practice pays off
“I’m just here to help them with whatever they need,” Nimpchaimanatham said. “I like seeing all of the kids from different schools making friends and playing with each other. We try to keep it a family atmosphere here.”
Practicing with the club has paid off for several students, including Crestview’s Marisa Rogers and Brittany Pase, who qualified for the July 25-27 USA Junior Beach Tour National Championship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Being a part of the club has not only helped Rogers with volleyball skills, but it also has affected her attitude toward the game.
“I get down on myself when I mess up,” she said. “Over the past few years, playing with Sammy and the rest of the girls has really helped with that.”
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