Like a farmer, head coach Shawn Garus hopes the work the Boise State volleyball team put into spring will pay off in the fall indoor season.

The first sand volleyball season for the Broncos is in the books, and Garus can already see improvements in the Broncos’ game as they move back indoors.

“Their skills should be a little bit more well-rounded now,” Garus said. “Sand training has only helped what we do indoors.”

For starters, Garus can see better communication between his players. With sand volleyball being played in pairs as opposed to a team of six, players are forced to communicate more with their partner.

Senior Alyssa Gammel can also feel improvements in her conditioning and vertical jumping after spending the spring moving through sand.

“Playing in sand, all of our verticals have improved a lot. I’m excited to see the difference with that,” Gammel said. “We’re still trying to play Thursdays in sand so we don’t lose all of the improvements
that we made.”

Gammel also feels she gained more control in placing the ball. Normally a power hitter, Gammel had to learn added control playing with a lighter ball in the sand season.

Garus, a sand volleyball player during his playing days, had firsthand experience of the improvements his team could expect to see after spending an extra spring outdoors— one of the many reasons why he pushed so hard for Boise State to add sand volleyball.

“I definitely love the sport,” Garus said. “I think it’s a great way to learn the game and I want to see them playing it year-round now.”

Aside from the improvements in the technical skills and conditioning gained from a season of  sand volleyball, Garus hopes the sand season acts as a huge confidence booster for the Broncos.

With wins over Pac-12 schools Oregon and Washington during spring, Garus is going to do everything he can to keep those wins fresh in the Broncos’ minds in rematches with those schools in the indoor season.

Boise State is also one of the few teams in the MWC to play sand volleyball in the spring, something Garus plans to exploit as much as he can during the indoors season.

“I believe coming out of sand volleyball we are going to be stronger and healthier in all aspects of the game,” Gaurs said.

The Broncos open their season Aug. 29 against Gonzaga.