Eckerd’s Lim dreams of playing pro beach volleyball

Senior's reason for playing sport has changed over the years

Kitana Lim of Eckerd College volleyball smiles under a palm tree with a ball.
Kitana Lim is making plans to stay in beach volleyball after her senior year ends at Eckerd College. (Michael J. Collins/Toronto Observer) 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – For Kitana Lim a sport that was originally a vessel to afford school has turned into a dream that may involve a career turning pro.

The Eckerd College beach volleyballer could not attend post-high school without a scholarship, and that was goal one.

Now as a senior her sport has likely become a life-long love.

“My family was pretty poor, so they were like if you can’t get a scholarship, you can’t get into college,” said Lim after a sunny morning practice. “I got an indoor (volleyball) scholarship full ride for two years at Lake-Sumter State College and then worked and saved money and came here.”

Before Lim became obsessed with the beach, she played multiple sports including hockey, tennis, football, wrestling and indoor volleyball.

The Florida native admitted to working on her sport to chase her academic goals, but her dedication to her craft are what made her excel.

Commuting over an hour each way to attend Eckerd, the ace discovered many positives in the situation.

“Do what you love and it doesn’t feel like anything at all,” said Lim. “It does get stressful sometimes, but I just remind myself why I’m here and doing it.

“I love (studying) marine biology and beach (volleyball), and I’m just happy in general.”

Juggling the difficulties of being a full-time student and being on a Division II team were hard, but the seaside athlete discovered the situation was easier with community.

She credits her inspiration and will to win to the people around her.

“I love playing tournaments, there’s an awesome community of people in beach,” said Lim. “I’ll probably never stop playing. The community that I made friends with has been phenomenal, and it just gets better and better.”

The coastal competitor’s current drive is turning pro in beach after this season.

As of this writing the team has a record of 3-8 (22-33 in overall matches). March 25 Lim and her partner Joelle Coulter had won their last two games.

One day hoping to make the Olympics might be possible given the praise she received from her coaches Sammy Gibson and Jade Hayes.

“Kitana has great vision, great IQ, she competes already at a really high level and she’s good at bringing that with whoever she plays with,” said Gibson. 

“Kitana brings a whole lot of athleticism, vision, IQ to the game and some older mentality to how to compete,” added Hayes.

About this article

Posted: Mar 29 2023 10:12 am
Filed under: College Other Sports Sports