Osceola High School's Hayley Misewich figures she was about 8 or 9 years old when she discovered sand volleyball. After starting out on traditional hard courts, Misewich saw people playing volleyball on the beach and decided to give it a try. It turned into a college scholarship. Misewich will play sand volleyball at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers this fall. She officially signed her letter of intent May 1 at Osceola, where she was the varsity setter for three years. While Misewich excelled for the Warriors (601 assists and 250 digs as a senior), it was her play in sand volleyball tournaments that caught college coaches' attention. Though only 5-foot-5, Misewich has above-average leaping ability and ball handling skills. She has been on two-person teams that have won tournaments in Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach and Siesta Key. We caught up with Misewich after she signed to play at FGCU.
How did you discover sand volleyball?
"I started playing … on the regular indoor courts. Then I played on the beach and liked that a lot. It's more relaxing to play. It's less stressful. There's less drama. It's just two players and you just play. … I've had a lot of different partners (laughs). That's kind of the way it is."
How did you find Florida Gulf Coast?
"I honestly don't know. My parents did all the recruiting for me. I have toured the campus and I loved it."
Do you have a favorite beach you play at and will you miss the area when you leave?
"Clearwater Beach. There are a lot of good players there. … Maybe. But I really like it (in Fort Myers). They have nice sand courts. I'm looking forward to playing there."
Rodney Page, Times staff writer