Whitman’s sand volleyball club serves instant campus success

Charlie Hunter, Campus Life Reporter

Sand volleyball, anyone? Three days a week on the courts next to Stanton, the Whitman sand volleyball club meets to play. Created by students in the fall semester of 2021, the club was created to bring students from all backgrounds and skill levels out to the sand courts to play, socialize and to try and not hit the ball into Mill Creek.

While the sand courts have been available and used before the creation of the club, it wasn’t until a year ago that a student club brought organization to the space. Club founder and president Alicia Buchter further defined the club.

“I started the club at the beginning of my junior year; the sand courts weren’t new, but there was never a club. When I first started the club, we had between 20 and 60 students showing up each meeting, but now we usually average around 30,” Buchter said. 

Play starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 7:00 p.m., but Buchter notes that the ending time isn’t the firmest deadline. Club members and students often play late into evening, ending on their own time.

Photo by Sofia Del Fiol.

This is very much in tune with the vibe of the club; it’s all about fun. Club vice president Erik Muro talked about how the club aims to have a very inclusive environment for students of all different backgrounds and skill levels. The club was as an especially important outlet during the COVID-19 pandemic, when students had fewer ways to socialize.

“We play loud music and get the vibes up… everyone is super engaged. I think, during COVID-19, people might have missed that a lot, and now we are seeing a huge spike in people showing up to practices now and last year,” Muro said. “Really, everyone just wants to play, have fun and meet new people, and I think that sand volleyball is great for this.”

Club communications manager Olivia Oczkowski spoke on how the club executes this mission for fun within the sport. 

“We have two different courts for practice: one for competition and one for fun,” Oczkowski said.

Photo by Sofia Del Fiol.

The fun court has no rules and is often referred to as the “chaos court,” with as many students and hits on one side of the net as you wish. On the adjacent court, sand volleyball is played with a little more regulation. There are two players to a side, and if you lose, you must step aside and make space for the next pair. 

Providing balance between competition and fun is what the sand volleyball club does best. Whether you’re a master at the sport or have never touched a volleyball court, the sand volleyball club will be on the courts by Cleveland and Stanton three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to whenever you desire. 


*Alicia Buchter is the Illustration Editor for The Wire.