The Beach Volleyball Club, led by social science teacher Kyle Knoll ‘11 and senior Sinjin Smith, is a competitive team comprised of students that compete with other schools in the Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League (IBVL).
During the regular season, the Beach Volleyball Club competes in the Mission League against three schools: Bishop Montgomery, Notre Dame and Santa Monica. During the playoffs, the teams compete against other divisions.
The Beach Volleyball Club has been a club at Loyola for two years and has attracted players from the Cubs varsity volleyball team and those passionate about beach volleyball. They practice twice a week at Santa Monica and Dockweiler Beach. The season starts in August and ends in early October, as the team plays in tournaments at the end of each week. Sinjin Smith, Sr. ‘75, father of Smith Jr., helps coach the team twice weekly after school. Each team plays a maximum of six players in competition. Regular volleyball matches play six on six, while Beach Volleyball plays two on two.
In its inaugural year, the team defeated Santa Barbara and won against all Mission League teams but lost to Santa Monica in the quarterfinals. The Cubs took fifth place overall in the IBVL.
“After finishing in fifth place last year, we were unsatisfied. At the end of the summer, we began practicing in hopes for an IBVL Championship,” said varsity player Luke Grafton.
This year the Cubs started off their season with a 10-1 record in Mission League. “We were very successful in Mission League as we went 10-1 and our only loss was a forfeit,” Grafton said. In the playoffs, the beach varsity team defeated all teams but Mira Costa.
Loyola then beat Redondo Union and advanced to the semifinals where they would compete against Palisades Charter. Loyola defeated Palisades Charter in the semifinals, with senior Ryan Pecsok clinching the match with a 17-15 win in the third set. The Cubs advanced to the championship match in which they were defeated 3-0 by Mira Costa, earning second place overall.
Grafton said, “In the finals, we played our rival, Mira Costa, who have been champions of the beach league for three years. We played our hearts out but ended up losing 3-0.”
Compared to last year’s results, this was a three rank jump for the Cubs. Loyola’s JV Beach Volleyball Team finished second in their league, with a 6-4 win-loss ratio. Having defeated Notre Dame and Redondo Union, the Cubs lost to Santa Monica and Mira Costa. Smith said, “I hope to see the club continue to rise to the top, and hopefully we will be number one next year.”