Athletics Department adds Beach Volleyball program


The Catalyst / George Retelas

During the summer, two beach volleyball courts were constructed on the southwest corner of campus adjacent to the softball field.  The Catalyst interviewed NDB Athletic Director Jason Levine about the school’s new Beach Volleyball program and its latest additions to the campus’ athletic facilities.

The Catalyst (TC): How did NDB get a Beach Volleyball program?

Jason Levine (JL): I would say about four or five years ago, Lisa Smoot, mother of Katie (‘17) and Krissy (‘19), approached Head of School Maryann Osmond about Beach Volleyball. She knew it was about to become something big. She brought statistics about how it had become the fastest growing girls sport.

Barry Peters, father of Kendall (‘19), started a beach volleyball league — He went down to Southern California where it was a big sport and came back, wanting to start a Bay Area league.

There were four teams that jumped on it right away. There was the Branson School, NDB, Palo Alto HS, and Woodside HS. We had three competitions, two of which were held at the Foundry in Redwood City.  The winner would go down to play the seven best teams from Southern California.

TC: How did the school construct the two courts?  How long did it take?

JL: Construction started a week after school ended, and it was done in four days.  What they did was come in and take off the top layer of grass. They measured the flatness of the area, and everything slopes to the east.

Costs actually were lower than expected. The money all came from parents — strictly donations. The Athletic Boosters helped with a portion, but most of what was collected was made by anonymous donations or people who wrote checks to help cover those initial costs.

TC: And, how much does it cost to maintain the courts?

JL: Zero. Every year, we will have to think, “Do we need another dump of sand?”  But, right now, we don’t need to worry about that because we had like ten dump trucks with sand come in.

The nets are always done. When Beach Volleyball players want to use the courts, they have to put the nets up.

TC: Will NDB host games and compete against other schools?

JL: Right now, we can’t have league tournaments because it would be only eight girls playing. But, if we were to have four courts — That’s sixteen girls playing, which is eight schools.

We already have our team, and girls will come out again during the spring. We will play whoever decides to join the Northern California Beach Volleyball league. It’s not a CIF sport yet.  It’s still a club sport.

TC: What are the plans for the future of NDB’s Beach Volleyball program? 

JL: We’re not going to build the next two courts until we have raised the money. The Olympic Club has already given us $10,000 for the next set.

We’re going to start running weekend camps and clinics, and that money will go right into NDB.

What we want is student athletes saying, “Hey, let’s go train on the beach…” I want this to become something for our community, too. It’s for everybody, not just the volleyball players.