Freshman Moore looking to make impact on the court

Walk-on comes to Eckerd with zero experience in beach game

Melana Moore poses for a picture with a volleyball
Eckerd College beach volleyball player Melana Moore poses for a picture after practice. The walk-on freshman is the newest addition to the Tritons roster. (Photo: Ismail Fasih/Toronto Observer) 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Walk-on freshman Melana Moore’s story seems pretty typical: a Michigan high school volleyball player who has joined Eckerd College’s beach volleyball team.

And, yes, the walk-on part does seem inspirational. But what makes Moore’s story fascinating is that she hadn’t played beach volleyball at all in her athletic career. Not even recreationally.

“I just talked to the coach and did a tryout and recently joined a few weeks ago,” she said, after a practice last week. “I did not play beach (volleyball) at high school.

“I just started when I got to Eckerd in August because they don’t have beach volleyball in Michigan (since) it’s cold. But I did play high school volleyball all four years and we won district (championships) two or three times in a row.”

The switch from wood to sand, she said, was surprising.

“It’s a lot different than I thought it would be. The calls are different, “Moore said. “It’s a lot different playing in sand and with only two people and having to do every skill instead of indoor where you have to do one specific skill.

“On beach you have to do them all,” she added, “so it’s been an interesting transition,” especially since she was involved in indoor volleyball not just in high school but since the third grade.

Playing beach for the Tritons grew on her quickly, and now it’s the sand over the court.

“I love being outside and it’s just a lot of fun,” said Moore. “I met the team before I even joined the team and they are all just super great, so it really made me want to join.”

Moore has played one match this year, a loss. But still, Moore doesn’t regret her decision to choose the outdoor game over the indoor version.

She also has advice for anyone else who is starting out in beach volleyball.

“I think you just get out there, starting with your friends, or just anyone who wants to play,” she said. “You know nothing is impossible. I didn’t play beach volleyball until few months ago and now I’m on a college team, (so) you know, you can do anything.”

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Posted: Mar 10 2024 6:39 pm
Filed under: College NCAA Sports