The Palomar College women’s beach volleyball team consists of five teams with two players per team. The No. 1 pairing includes Brittany Mitchell, 22, a kinesiology major, and Kianna Niu, 25, a graphic design major.
Mitchell and Niu have great love for the sport of beach volleyball, which is reflected in their commitment to not losing a point.
“They have great ball control, which makes them one of our best teams,” Head Coach Karl Seiler said. “They put pressure on the other teams that way. They work hard and well together and are very skilled.”
Mitchell and Niu’s team dynamic goes beyond strategizing to win and sharing a mutually intense drive to keep control of the ball.
“There’s a lot of court to cover and there’s only two of us, so we work like a rubber band,” Mitchell said. “Once one of us goes one way, the other shifts into another.”
Their camaraderie is reflected in the way they give each other high fives every single time they earn or lose a point. They keep their spirits high no matter the score, the weather conditions, the depth of sand and all of the other factors that make beach volleyball a challenging sport.
“Even if I’m having a really crappy day, I have to keep in mind that I can’t give up on her, I can’t get sucked out, I can’t just walk away, ” Mitchell said. “I have to be here to work with her because she has my back and she knows I have hers.”
Their positive attitude is only one aspect of how they became the Comet’s top players.
“We have to set the bar as high as we can for the other teams,” Niu said. “Everything we do on the court and off the court… we have to be working harder to set an example for everyone else.”