Hailing from California where beaches thrive, Philippine Super Liga (PSL) star Alexa Micek of Petron Blaze Spikers has been immersed in the sport and culture of beach volleyball. As such, this looker hopes to bring the sport to the consciousness of the Filipinos – starting with the Queen of the Sands and the King and Queen of the Sands tournaments in the past two months.
The idea of a beach volleyball competition came up from Ateneans: Gretchen Ho, Bea Tan, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, and Charo Soriano, who are mostly the ladies she trains with, which helped Micek make her dream a reality with the inaugural Queen of the Sands tournament last June. And why beach volleyball? Alexa shared, “’Cause beach volley is something I’m more passionate about, and it’s up and coming. I felt that indoor [volleyball] was more tapped into. There’s so much potential and so much we can do with beach [volleyball] right now.” The initial tournament’s main purpose is to provide a fun venue for the sport’s community to grow. Moreover, they want to grow public interest in beach volleyball and, hopefully, from here the sport could grow and expand.
Micek played in the sands even before she took the courts as she grew up in a place just a block away from the beach. It also helped that her mother has been playing beach volleyball since Alexa was a child. The Californian even went to say, “I was on the beach with her as long as I can remember. I have pictures with a ball in hand like a good ol’ baby.”
The switch from beach to indoor volleyball, on her part, however, was not easy. “It’s a huge transition because it’s two completely different sports and not many people grasp that,” She expressed. The Petron opposite spiker elaborated that the difference in playing on two distinct surfaces provides a lot of adjustment in focus and movement. “There’s more balance to account for [in beach volleyball], as well as the elements – crazy winds, crazy sun, and sometimes, crazy rain.” She, however, has this strong opinion: “I would say, if you play beach, you’ll get better in indoor.”
Alexa used these two tournaments as preparation for the upcoming PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup, which starts this Saturday, at the same venue – SM Sands By the Bay. She is teaming up with Cainglet-Cayetano in the league’s debut season for beach volleyball after successfully staging two for indoor. Micek told us, “It’s time to get some experience out on this court, as well as scoping out the other girls, ‘cause this is my competition.” Nonetheless, the spiker elatedly shared, “But the thing is we’re building a community. We’re all friends, too.” She feels that such pocket tournaments and the main PSL competition works in tandem to develop the skills of each beach spiker.
With its indoor variety reaching an all time high in recent years, Micek dreams that beach volleyball would also gain public interest. “Hopefully, we’ll push more with social media. Let more people fall in love with it, like we have,” she said.
When asked on what made volleyball fun, she expressed, “Just the culture of volleyball is so much fun, specifically beach volleyball; you are in the beach, and hanging out, you’re by the water.” Micek hopes that the Filipinos, who now love its cousin, indoor volleyball, will also join in on the fun of beach volleyball.