COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard Beach Volleyball is in full swing of practices and played its first ever scrimmage match this past weekend against Concordia. The inaugural squad features 11 new athletes to the Vanguard Campus including seven transfers. The four incoming freshman are Bree Bolton (FR/Riverside, CA) from Ramona High School, Angel Carroll (FR/Roy, WA) from Tacoma Baptist High School, Gabby Morrison (FR/Paso Robles, CA) from Paso Robles High School and Mackenzie Mitchell (FR/Costa Mesa, CA) from just down the road at Costa Mesa High School. The transfer group features those coming from CSU Bakersfield to local Orange County Junior College IVC and Golden West. Val Rodgers (JR/Sacramento, CA) and Dani Erdelatz (SO/Stockton, CA) come down from the Northern California area while Karly Cantu (SO/Spokane, WA) leaves the rainy Pacific Northwest for sunny Southern California. The rest of the team is rounded out by local athletes Hannah Holder (SO/Irvine, CA), Kayla Tinker (JR/San Clemente, CA), Charity Dennis (JR/Cypress, CA), and Sam Ureno (JR/Anaheim, CA).
"I am so thrilled to begin working with these young ladies. We have already realized how like-minded we are, and that our long-term goals are similar. We have a good mix of true freshmen & transfer students, and we have the advantage of being able to train together all year. We are building a program, and that will take a strong foundation of diligent details, work ethic, patience, setting goals for improvement, and passion to persevere."
Beach Volleyball competes during the spring semester and is an up-and-coming sport on the west coast. At the time of its creation, Vanguard held the only NAIA program on the West Coast but now has a GSAC partner in Hope International University. The team will compete against an array of competition levels including NCAA Division I teams in the Pac12 Conference with two separate trips to Arizona. Most often, the team will be battling it out on the sand in Huntington Beach.
The sport is similar in nature to indoor volleyball with some of the techniques, but the strategy is different in the two on two format of the sport. During a match, pairs will compete against each other five times. In individual matchups, the teams battle it out best two out of three sets. The teams play to 21, needing to win by a minimum lead of two points. In the decisive third set, if necessary, the score goes to 15 and once again the winning team needs to win by a minimum of two points. This follows the similar structure of indoor volleyball. To secure a victory in a match, one of the two differing institutions needs to win three of the five courts.
"It's an awesome thing to know that we are laying the foundation of a new program here at Vanguard," Kantu proudly said. "To know in 40 years we can look back and that that we started something from the ground up is humbling and an honor. We couldn't have asked for a better coach as he not only recruits talented athletes but solid Christian women for this team."
Kris Dorn's 21 years of collegiate experience ranges from NCAA Division I and II teams, and NAIA programs. Dorn spent the last four years in St. Charles, Missouri at Lindenwood University, where he served as head men's volleyball coach. Prior to that, Dorn spent four years in Iowa at Clarke University, serving as head men's volleyball coach, where he coached the team to their first NAIA National Championship appearance. During his time coaching in California in the mid-2000's, Dorn was head coach of the Newport Beach Sea Hawks for the American Professional Volleyball League (APVL). Dorn was also assistant men's and women's volleyball coach at his alma mater, California Baptist University in Riverside, where he produced five National Championships in three academic calendar years of coaching.