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The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Women’s beach volleyball starts inaugural season playing home games off-site

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Seth Henderson
Freshman beach volleyball players Cassidy Pham and Nicole Risch score a point against the San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs at the Sacramento Softball Complex on March 22. The Hawks defeat the Mustangs 3-2 before losing 0-5 to the Sierra College Wolverines.

The Hawks Athletics program began their inaugural season of women’s beach volleyball on Feb. 14, playing home games at the Sacramento Softball Complex this season as the new beach volleyball facility on campus is being constructed.

Head Coach Kari Nahlen said she is excited to see the new facility at Cosumnes River College create opportunities not only for the team, but for the local community and the sport as a whole. She said high school and club teams would be looking to play their championship games at CRC and the facility is expected to be complete in late May.

“It’s really exciting to see our facility, just, you know, go from absolutely nothing to trees down, to hole dug,” Nahlen said, “to now, you can see the posts in the ground, you can see the lights starting to get put up. It’s going to be one of the best facilities in the state for sure.”

Nahlen said the beach team has many players from the indoor team who will gain year-round experience. She said the new facility provides a fun opportunity to get specific beach volleyball players recruited for the Hawks’ program.

“As the sport grows and people see the facilities and see our program growing, we’re really going to try and split it up into two teams,” Nahlen said.

The Hawks are currently second in the Big 8 Conference with a 5-3 record overall and a 4-1 record in the conference. After starting the season 0-2, the team went on a five-game winning streak. They played the San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs and won 3-2 before losing to the Sierra College Wolverines on Friday, 0-5, ending their streak. Their last five games were against conference opponents.

Nahlen said indoor volleyball is a completely different sport than beach volleyball because the rules are not the same. Indoor teams have six players as opposed to a team of two in beach volleyball. The coach is only allowed to talk to players between every seven points of a match and the players have to referee themselves.

Alison Peterson, a sophomore player, said she feels a lot of pressure to start the season well and wants to hit the ground running, setting the bar high for the program.

“Especially since no one knows the CRC beach program, we want to make sure we’re not overlooked, by like, other teams,” Peterson said.

Peterson said the Hawks’ home games are played at the complex, which is 30 minutes away, and there isn’t as much of a community or a crowd, unlike a typical home game at CRC.

“When we’re here indoor, we have students come, other sports, teachers even and like, hopefully it just brings that new sense of community we can rally behind,” Peterson said.

Jordyn Kwalwasser, a freshman player, said she is excited to play at the new facility when it’s ready. She said she is excited to help other beach players in the community as the sport grows in popularity.

“I think one of the best things about beach is it teaches control and it teaches, especially indoor players, how to play smart and use more than just power to win,” Kwalwasser said.

Kwalwasser said she has always seen the best beach players play really well during the indoor season and she is glad to have a year-round program on campus to perfect her skills.

The Hawk will play at the College of Marin against the Mariners on Friday.

Nahlen said Athletic Director Collin Pregliasco has played a huge part in creating the beach volleyball program and it’s been in the works since 2017.

“He had faith in our program and what we’re doing here, so it was really cool, if you think of it that way,” Nahlen said. “To have someone as a superior really have your back, and I feel like he does that for our whole athletic department to be honest with you.”

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About the Contributor
Seth Henderson, Editor in Chief
Seth Henderson is the Editor in Chief for the Connection newspaper. He decided to join the Connection because he wants to pursue his dreams of becoming a reporter and broadcaster, with hopes of working in the field full-time. He is passionate about  traveling and exploring the world.

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