Culture’s name of the game for Eckerd beach volleyball

Freshman Brooke Hand excited for the future of the program

Beach volleyball player
Eckerd College beach volleyball blocker Brooke Hand spins a volleyball on her finger while at practice. (Photo by: Evan Davidson) 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Culture is of the upmost importance for blocker Brooke Hand of the Eckerd College Tritons beach volleyball team.

A young roster comprised of almost entirely freshmen and sophomores has led to some growing pains, but their values of heart and grit will benefit the program for the long run. 

Hand played indoor volleyball for eight years and she traded in the snowy climate of Colorado for the Florida sun. While only playing two years of club-level beach volleyball, she is all onboard with the team ideology. 

“We’re a really big culture team, said the first-year. “We have a culture meeting once a week and sometimes even more.

“We’re big on leadership and vulnerability”. 

Although the Tritons are a young roster, the blocker has leaned on her teammates to help her learn the position. 

“I was always a defender, so coming here and meeting the other blockers, I can look up to them for their skills and their mental ability because they know when’s a good time to pull, when’s a good time to block,” said Hand. 

“All of them on the team … are just a new learning experience for me.”

This season will be more of a learning curve for Eckerd College, allowing the influx of young athletes to gel together as a team. 

“We can all trust each other”, said the freshman. “It gives us a chance to all grow together and really build this program to become an even higher level than we are now”

For the Coloradan, the transition not only to a new position but also college athletics hasn’t been easy. With the Tritons emphasizing culture and certain values, Hand will not only become a better player but also better off the court.  

“I want to see you leave a better person”, said assistant coach Jade Hayes, whose club has struggled in the early going, especially playing Division I sides. “I care about the process, and also just progress. 

“It’s about the journey not the destination.”

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Posted: Mar 7 2024 8:07 pm
Filed under: College NCAA Sports