Utah is known for a lot of things, though sandy beaches are not usually one of them. But one of the U’s newest D1 teams—beach volleyball, which was launched in 2017—is changing that.
Unlike those of its indoor and more sure-footed counterpart, beach volleyball squads are made up of just two players, explains player Bella Vezzani. “It’s a much more individualized sport. You’re guaranteed to touch the ball every time,” she notes. “Building a connection with your partner and being able to succeed together is the best feeling.”
While the sport obviously requires great physical stamina, it also takes a strong mental game, adds Vezzani. “Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with coaches who prioritize mindset, and I’ve noticed how much growth I’ve made with both mentality and volleyball skills.”