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VOLLEYBALL News & Articles

Life's a beach for this volleyball-playing duo

This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press on Monday, August 13, 2007.

Valley Press Sports Correspondent

WINNERS - Krista Novelli, left, and Lindsey Lawmaster, right, pose for a picture after their win at a beach volleyball tournament in Pismo Beach earlier in July.

Photo Courtesy of Vikki Novelli

Most people don't view volleyball as a very difficult sport.

They play with six people on a relatively small court, but what is taken for granted is the quick pace, constant moving, and explosiveness that is needed.

And that's just on a hard court.

Lindsey Lawmaster and Krista Novelli take the sport one step further.

They take it to the beach.

The added obstacle of playing in sand, as well as the fact that teams of a half dozen players are cut down to two, make the game much more difficult.

"There are a bunch of different rules on the beach," Novelli said. "You can't take the serve overhand and the court is a little smaller. You have to get used to it and it's more about placement rather than power."

"The sand makes it a little harder to move, but it really helps and makes you faster for indoor."

The 13-year-old Lawmaster and Novelli, who is 14, have competed in numerous beach tournaments this summer, winning titles at two tournaments in Pismo Beach.

The duo has also taken second and fifth at tournaments in Santa Barbara, and placed 16th in a Hermosa tournament that fielded 42 teams.

The wins have granted the volleyball duo an invitation to the Manhattan Beach Invitational on Sept. 3.

"I am really excited," Novelli said. "There will be a lot of competition there."

Beach volleyball is a rapidly growing sport in the world, but has a cult following in the United States despite the dominance of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. The team took home a gold medal at the Olympics in 2004 and has dominated the AVP tour every year since.

"(Walsh) plays with a lot of heart and seems like a very good leader," Novelli said."

While Novelli tends to like Walsh more, Lawmaster is awed by the skill of the leader in wins on the AVP tour, May-Treanor, as well as the team of Jennie Johnson-Jordan and Annette Davis.

"(May-Treanor) is really aggressive," Lawmaster said. "I've seen her play on the beach and in college. When the game is close she really comes through for her team."

In addition to her beach volleyball game, Lawmaster plays for her middle school, Joe Walker, and for the 15-and-under AVVC Nai'a club volleyball team. Lawmaster's team became the first club team in the Valley to play in a Division I tournament.

Novelli plays on the 14-and-under team for AVVC Nai'a, and will attend Paraclete High School this fall as a freshman, where she will tryout for the team.

Lawmaster is completing her final year at Joe Walker this year and will most likely attend Quartz Hill High School in the fall of 2008.

Both play volleyball year-round, but while Novelli enjoys the hardcourt more, Lawmaster likes the one on one feeling of the beach.

"I still love to play on the beach and can't wait to continue with Lindsey," Novelli said.

With the amount of hard work both have put in to honing their volleyball skills, both will fit in perfectly at their respective schools, which have had great volleyball success in the past.