Senior sand volleyball player prepares for the upcoming season with optimism

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Senior Canon Bongard the day she signed to the University of Arizona. She plans on playing for UofA after graduating this year.

Sand volleyball is one of Perry’s most competitive sports. Two years ago, they ended their 2019 season with a record of 11-1, just barely missing out on the title of state champions, and with their 2020 season being canceled, this year they hope to take home the title of state champions. 

Senior Canon Bongard has been a member of the sand volleyball team since her freshman year and has recently signed with the University of Arizona. 

She began playing sand volleyball after her indoor volleyball teammates encouraged her to try it out when she was younger. Bongard said, “It’s a cool place if you’re not big enough for indoor”. 

She fell in love with the game and has been playing ever since seventh grade. 

Her love for the sport has been what motivates her to keep playing and improving her skills throughout the years. The amount of time, however, that she spends practicing per week varies, as it depends on her schedule and how much other school work she needs to complete. 

Bongard is unique as a volleyball player because she only plays sand volleyball. The majority of volleyball players alternate between indoor, also known as court, volleyball, and sand, also known as beach volleyball. However, it is becoming more popular for players to pick either sand or indoor, due to indoor’s club season overlapping with the sand volleyball season. 

Sand volleyball coach Fred Mann said, “It’s such a big-time commitment” to play both indoor club and sand volleyball at the same time, but those who do choose just one “find a lot of enjoyment” in their chosen sport. 

The two have different rules, the main difference being the number of players on the court at one time. 

In indoor volleyball, six players are on the court, wherein in sand volleyball, there are only two on one side. In sand, the players are paired off with another player that is normally their designated partner for that tournament or season. 

Bongard is a team player and said that this season she wants to focus on helping everyone “do the best [they] can and make sure everyone’s loving the game.” 

Mann said, “Canon’s played for me the past two years” and that he’s watched her “grow as a player” throughout his time coaching her.

Bongard plans to play for the University of Arizona after graduating this year but is unsure of what she wants to do after college. She hopes to “see where life takes” her whether that be a career in playing sand volleyball or somewhere else.

Bongard will be an influential part of the sand volleyball team this year with her “live in the moment” attitude as she strives to improve her skills and motivate others on the team to try their best.