Featured SPORTS

High school is getting sand volleyball courts 

Lance Taschner (left) with Scripps Ranch High School Associate Principal Rudy Parra as construction of the new sand volleyball courts is underway on the school campus in the background. (courtesy of Lance Taschner) 

High school is getting sand volleyball courts 

By Hector Trujillo

Ever since the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) boys beach volleyball program started a few years ago, the team has played at the highest level against some of the best competition in the county. Even though it’s still considered a club sport for boys, it has officially become a CIF-sanctioned sport for girls.

With that in mind, a Scripps Ranch couple – Lance and Judy Taschner – are putting their best efforts to have sand volleyball courts installed on the campus of Scripps Ranch High School.

“Since Lance got the Scripps boys beach program started up three years ago, we have often been running practices out of our backyard sand court,” Judy said.

Both have been playing beach volleyball since their late teens, having met each other at the Estero Beach Volleyball Tournament in Mexico. Judy, an attorney by profession, has competed in beach, grass and indoor volleyball her entire life. Lance is the boys volleyball coach at the high school and also led the Scripps Ranch Little League Intermediate All-Star team all the way to the Little League World Series in 2018.

“There are not a lot of sand court options in the area, so we could never host home matches,” Lance said. “While playing over at the beach is beautiful, it can be difficult and inconvenient for kids and families to make it out there during weekday afternoons.”

There are several other high schools in San Diego that have already installed their own beach volleyball courts, which provide an advantage for their students.

Beach volleyball is recognized as an official college sport for women and is among the fastest growing sports, and some colleges are starting to offer it as a men’s club sport, too.

Those wishing to donate funds to help complete the sand volleyball courts at Scripps Ranch High School may contribute through Venmo.

“To actually have our own facility at the high school is a dream come true, and opens up the availability of this growing sport to all Scripps students,” Judy said. “They will possibly still be playing it – especially beach, since it’s easier on the joints – even into their fifties, creating many life memories and relationships, as it is a very socially connected activity.”

The project has been officially approved on the SRHS campus with excavation having started on Aug. 9. Forthcoming steps include filling the courts with sand and putting in the volleyball equipment. The beautification is expected to continue over the course of the year – and in preparation for the girls sand volleyball season in the spring.

Among those supporting the project are the Scripps Ranch Volleyball Booster Club with the goal being to get three courts to be utilized for the boys sand volleyball fall season.

The Taschners wanted to recognize Scripps Ranch High School Associate Principal Rudy Parra because he has been instrumental in working with them and the school district to make this project happen. He and Andrea Eaton, maintenance planning senior coordinator from the San Diego Unified School District worked together with Lance to approve this volunteer-driven dream project.

“The biggest obstacle now is money. Fundraising is in full swing with the newly established Scripps Volleyball Booster Club, and we are already so grateful for the generous donations coming in,” Judy said.