Beach volleyball program advances at OPHS

Coach Bilbruck has plans for sand courts to hopefully come next year


Loren Yona/Talon

Beach volleyball grows at Oak Park.

The beach volleyball program has kicked off in the spring of 2019, since being officially introduced at Oak Park High School in December of 2019 by head coach Kendall Billbruck.

At the beginning of the season, 30 girls attended tryouts to pioneer Oak Park girls’ beach volleyball and 24 remain on the team currently.The majority of the girls on the team had prior experience playing indoor court volleyball either at the school or independently, which encouraged them to tryout for the beach volleyball team. Many of the players played beach volleyball at Sports Academy and gained an interest for one of the fastest growing sports in the country, leading to the start of Oak Park’s own team.

“Everyone was really interested in beach and we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to play for our school because other schools have teams,” junior Sophie Kuchan said.

Currently, the team practices three times a week at the Bowfield Sand Courts in Oak Park, where they go over skills and expand the players’ knowledge of the sport. Billbruck, with the support of Athletic Director Tim Chevalier, is trying to implement sand courts on OPHS’s campus in order to be able to practice outdoors on campus.

“We’ve got the plans for [the sand courts], we already know where they would be built [and] we already have a cost of what it would be, so it’s now just getting the funding for it and starting that process, but I would love to have it for next year,” Billbruck said.

New sand courts, built on the lower softball fields, would allow the team to have two courts to practice on instead of the one court they use now and would provide more space and conveniency for the players to improve their skills.

“I want to see the program keep growing, I want the girls to continue to enjoy it and get better, those are my two biggest things: have fun and get better,” Billbruck said.