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Volleyball: Fideles Christian senior Vollmer signs to play beach volleyball
Leah Vollmer
Fideles Christian School senior Leah Vollmer recently signed to play beach volleyball at Park University Gilbert in Arizona. Photo Submitted

Leah Vollmer has plenty of changes on her horizon. 

A senior at Fideles Christian School, Vollmer signed recently to play volleyball Park University Gilbert in Arizona, nearly 2,000 miles away.

The biggest change, however, might not be the distance or the new school itself. It could actually be the sport Vollmer signed to play. A longtime indoor volleyball player, Vollmer will play beach volleyball next spring for the Buccaneers. 

"There are a lot of different rules from indoor and beach volleyball," Vollmer said. "I think that will kind of get me a little bit at first, but ... technically it's the same sport. I don't think there will be a lot of bumps in the road – hopefully not."

One difference between indoor and beach volleyball is the court – both the physical makeup and dimensions. Beach volleyball is played on sand, and its court is a bit smaller. Also, teams play to 21 points instead of 25 points.

Park University Gilbert is an NAIA school, and 2020 saw the school's first beach volleyball season.

The Buccaneers won their first five games before concerns about the coronavirus wiped out the rest of the team's season.

Vollmer, a libero and defensive specialist for the Rangers, was an All-Region and Class 2A All-State selection by Georgia Association for Private and Patriarchal Schools last season. 

"We are very excited to sign Leah," Park University Gilbert beach volleyball coach Carlos Flys said in a statement. "Not only can she help us on the beach, she is a hard-working, high-character person who meshes with the type of quality student-athlete we want to have here at Park University Gilbert."

Vollmer said the size of the school reminded her of Fideles Christian, a K-12 school with only a few hundred students.

"I like how the college is already small, because I'm used to my school being small," Vollmer said. "I've actually never played beach before. Knowing that this is their first year of this program, being able to do a new sport and being part of a new team just really interested me."

Vollmer played volleyball for Intensity Volleyball Club in Johns Creek and was a four-year varsity starter at Fideles Christian, a school she's glad she attended.

"I think it was the best for me, honestly," Vollmer said. "I met so many of my best friends, and so many of my coaches came out of my school."