By: Staff Writer
Winter Haven - Beach volleyball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport in the country, and has started to emerge in high schools all across the nation, especially in Florida. In only its third season as an official Sunshine State Athletic Conference sport, the 2019 beach volleyball season saw 58 participating schools, one being All Saints Academy.
All Saints Academy is a small, private Episcopal school located in Winter Haven, Florida. The school’s beach volleyball program started in the spring of 2018 and did not see much success at all. With barely enough girls to form a whole team, they lost all their regular-season games, as well as all their district games. Although they did not see any success in their first season, the team kept their heads up, hopeful for the next.
Sooner or later, the underdog wins, right? This was the mindset the girls went into their second season with. They loved being the underdog. There were no expectations, no bars set, the only way to go was up.
This mindset allowed them to come in second in the regional championships, ultimately qualifying them for the 2019 State Championship. No one expected a school with a losing streak to win all their district qualifiers, and even less to go to State.
When asked how they did it, Faith Satterfield, member of the ASA beach volleyball team for both years and a rising senior for All Saints, explained that they “had nothing to lose, so we just gave it our all. Being the underdog really paid off because none of the other teams expected us to do better than we did last year.”
Although they did not end up winning the state championships in Tavares, Florida, they became the first sport in their school’s history to make it to State in only its second year of being an actual program, which resonated heavily both with the team and the school.
The good part is that none of the girls were seniors this year, which means that they will all return next season, but this time with the bar set only higher and ready to give a fight for the State Championship.