Jupiter High begins first official beach volleyball season

Girls beach volleyball, Jupiter High’s newest sports team has a current record of 5-2 after beginning their season on Feb. 15.

“Starting off the season, many of us were getting used to the rules and techniques of beach volleyball as opposed to indoor, so we didn’t know what to expect, given that the sport is new to high schools,” Jordan Guarneri, sophomore, said. “Now with more experience and games under our belt, I have the confidence that this team could do something special and really start off this program on a very high note.”

Lillian Turner, head coach, has played volleyball her whole life and takes pride in being the first Jupiter High beach volleyball coach.

“This is our first year having a beach volleyball program at Jupiter High. I met some of the indoor volleyball players through the ACES club and learned how incredible the girls are on and off the volleyball court,” Turner said. “So, when there was a need for a beach volleyball coach, it was an easy ‘yes.’”

Beach volleyball demands a great deal of mental toughness, in addition to physical toughness.

“[The team] does this strategy called ‘mind gym monday’, and it’s inspired by the book ‘Mind Gym.’ It strengthens our mentality while we play. For instance, Coach Turner had us pick a word of a good mental state that calms us down,” Elaina Avila, freshman, said. “This technique that our coach gave us helps us on and off the court.”

Turner hopes to get the beach program as successful as indoor volleyball.

“My goal is to develop the foundation of what Jupiter High beach volleyball looks like for years to come. I have high expectations to win districts and compete in the state tournament,” Turner said. “Beach volleyball is very different from indoor, so it takes a lot of repetition during practice, watching film and developing mental toughness and communication skills between partners.”

Ally Bauer, senior, enjoys the family aspect of the sport even though there are fewer girls on the court during game time. 

“I like how even though you play with two’s, you still get the team dynamic,” Bauer said.

Bauer believes that she owes a great deal of success to her coach who has progressed her as an athlete and an individual.

“What I enjoy most about coaching is watching girls grow in their confidence, character and friendships,” Turner said. “There is nothing better than 12 girls standing on the sideline cheering on their 2 teammates on the court and running onto the court after a win. Watching them compete and celebrate with each other is very cool to be a part of.”