The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Lady Cavaliers Break the Sand Against Immaculata La-Salle

Competing in their first beach volleyball game, Gables made history in the process
Vivian Pritchett
Sunglasses on, senior Audrey Noval prepares herself for the next play.

Shattering the expectation that Miami-Dade County Public Schools do not have certain sports, Coral Gables Senior High was proud to showcase its beach volleyball team for the first time in school history. With the recent addition of two sand courts on campus, the Lady Cavaliers beach volleyball team has come to life.

“It felt pretty cool to make history. For me, I think [I] saw so many other schools that had beach volleyball and I was a little jealous. This breakthrough was definitely significant,” junior Andrea Winkeljohn said.

Packing bottles of sunscreen and uniforms in their bags, the beach volleyball team anticipated their first matchup against La Salle High School. On March 5, the volleyball match commenced at around 2:00 p.m., in scorching conditions.

Looking for an open gap, senior Andrea Mase prepares to bring the heat. (Vivian Pritchett)

“I think [the game] was a historic moment because we are the first Miami-Dade County Public School to have beach volleyball. Beach volleyball is the fastest growing sport in the NCAA and that’s what we brought to Gables. Personally, it has a deeper meaning because I am a Gables alum now coaching these girls,” head coach Frankie Barrios said.

Serving their way into history, the Lady Cavaliers were energetic from the start. Sporting white tops with a streak of red color, Gables aggressively tested LaSalle’s returning skills in the opening sets.

Once the action started, Cavaliers and members of the Gables community flocked to the courts to catch entertaining points. They witnessed the impressive teamwork between seniors Andrea Mase and Audrey Noval as well as other avid competitors.

“The team played well, however I think we can improve on communicating with our partner to work better and more efficiently. Overall, [we] gave it [our] all and are getting stronger every week,” junior Katherine Barboza said.

The games between LaSalle and Gables were getting intense. Down the stretch, both sides dove into the sand to return crucial balls. An attentive crowd praised the Cavaliers whenever they prevailed after a tough point.

Winding her serve, senior Audrey Noval commences a crucial point. (Vivian Pritchett)

Nonetheless, LaSalle overpowered the Cavaliers as far as their serving game. Throughout the match, Gables players were tiring because of the constant action and extreme temperature. Unfortunately, the match ended in a defeat for the home team with a score of 1 to 4.

“[During and after the match] I thought that we got a good understanding of where our team stands. We recognize where most of our errors are being made. We were not blown away by [La Salle]…we have to potential to be just as good, if not even better,” coach Barrios said.

In beach volleyball, the athletes choose a partner to play the game. Each team is allowed to play five pairs, meaning that ten players can compete in a match. The individual games last up to 25 points.

Compared to indoor volleyball, the beach version requires profound communication between partners. Moreover, each player has to be agile to move around in the sand and return hard-hit balls to the far corners of the court. 

“There is a lot of collaboration in beach volleyball. I just like the fact that we are outside, playing in the sand and that we are all together. Our practices reflect that camaraderie. Each team members takes turns carrying the water and raking the courts after each training session,” freshman Carolina Sesin said.

As the Cavaliers charge into the beach volleyball season, they will keep practicing everyday after school, at 2:30 p.m., to refine their skills. One aspect that coach Barrios will emphasize is hitting lines and serve returns.

“What I try to bring to the girls is a higher IQ for the game and a better, calmer way of being analytical about the game. I want them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses to capitalize on their strengths and cover their weaknesses,” coach Barrios said.

The Lady Cavaliers have a week to train before they play a home match against St. Brendan High School on March 13.

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About the Contributors
Andres Rodriguez
Andres Rodriguez, CavsConnect Sports Editor

Andres Rodriguez is a junior and retains the title of CavsConnect Sports Editor. Studying in the International Baccalaureate program, Andres is looking forward to this year for many reasons. He runs for the boys cross country team and is focused on breaking 19 minutes and 15 seconds for a five kilometer race. His Catholic faith, family and teammates are what drives him in his races or casual runs whenever he has time. On campus, Andres is also part of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society boards. As far as extracurricular events, Andres hopes to attend pep rallies and possibly Homecoming. The IB classes and assessments will be time consuming but Andres still intends to hangout with friends, volunteer at mass and take his dog, Max, on more walks. Some skills Andres wants to refine are driving and cooking. Finally, Andres continues to embody this Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Philippians 4:13. 

Vivian Pritchett
Vivian Pritchett, CavsTV Staff
Vivian Pritchett is a freshman in the International Baccalaureate Program. This is her first year in the publication, she looks forward to attending and covering many sports events. Some of Vivian’s hobbies include baking, diving and watching sunsets. Her favorite places to watch a good sunset are Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Amelia Island. She’s a member of the Miami Diving Team and hopes to continue diving through and beyond highschool. Some tell her that she’s crazy for loving to dive but she says it is her way of escaping reality and having fun. She hopes to be a part of many clubs and participate in many community service projects and even overseas service missions
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