Eight time Western State Conference (South) coach of the year Nabil Mardini is one of the most respected coaches in the volleyball community.
Recently Mardini has started Pierce College’s first women’s sand volleyball team.
The team is currently considered a sport club on campus, but Mardini’s goal is for the club to become a sanctioned sport at Pierce by spring 2016, with his players competing on both teams.
“Since the women’s sand volleyball team is a separate sport than the indoor volleyball team, my players can play both sports at the same time,” Mardini said.
Athletic director Bob Lofrano thinks it’s huge that Pierce might get a new women’s team.
“You’re adding a women’s sport, that’s huge,” Lofrano said. “We’re doing it as a club sport, and next spring if I could get it on, which I will hopefully be able to do, I don’t see why not, we’ll be competing for a state championship.”
Athletic trainer Lenny Ramirez is taking into consideration the process of making sand volleyball a sanctioned sport and what it would mean for the athletic department’s budget.
“It goes all the way up to the president of our school, if we could afford to add a sports budget wise,” Ramirez said. “We only get a certain amount of money and right now the kids pay for their meals, so now we’re going to add another sport and but the budget isn’t going to change.”
The team consists of the same girls that make the women’s volleyball team.
“The girls really enjoy the social aspect of sand volleyball, they love playing under the sun and in the sand,” Mardini said. “It’s rare if I have one girl on the sand team and not on the indoor team or one girl on the indoor team and not the sand team.”
As one of the most respected coaches in the volleyball community Mardini hopes to have his sand volleyball team reach the top just as his indoor team did under his coaching.
“The season is going okay, we’re doing okay, we are getting better every week and that’s what counts,” Mardini said.
The difference in surfaces is what distinguishes regular volleyball from sand volleyball. So much that it doesn’t require as much coaching.
“There isn’t as much coaching involved with sand volleyball,” Mardini said. “There isn’t a lot of structure either, but the girls will be able to adjust.”
The next game for the team is against Santa Barbara City College on Friday, March 27 at 10 a.m.