CHRISTINA GRAGASIN - Sand Storm Guest Coach
Hometown: Celina, Texas
College: Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Major: Industrial Management & Technology Engineering
Christina Gragasin has been a sought out volleyball player in the DC metro area from some of the top clubs in the region. She then migrated to north Texas to compete in USAV nationals numerous times with Excel Volleyball Club. Having built her foundation of Sand and indoor volleyball under the tutelage of Coach Alan at No Panic, it has helped her compete at the highest level. We’re glad to have Christina return to the DC metro area to share her experiences at the highest level.
NP: When did you start playing beach volleyball?
CG: I started playing beach volleyball in middle school, but I became serious about taking the sport to the next level when I was a sophomore.
NP: When did you play for No Panic?
CG: 8th grade
NP: What attracted me to play for No Panic?
CG: I got along with the coaches very well and I loved playing in a competitive environment. I was surrounded by people that I knew would push me to be the best athlete I could be.
NP: What do you enjoy doing outside of volleyball?
CG: Cooking and going to the beach
NP: Who is your favorite volleyball influencer?
CG: Sarah Sponcil. The girl can pretty much do it all. She’s powerful yet crafty. She’s got every tool in the tool box and that’s something every player should acquire. She’s calm cool and collected, and most importantly she’s a very capable player. Plus her defense and setting is something out of this world.
NP: Anything else you would like to share?
CG: I love beach volleyball. I love the challenge and the environment I play in. It’s just a beautiful sport that is competitive just as much as it is enjoyable. I am a very loud player. I play with a lot of emotion and passion. And there’s no such thing as getting too sandy!
NP: How is beach volleyball different from playing indoor?
Beach volleyball is a challenge mentally and physically. You have to accept that you can’t chase down every ball, but you have to be willing to try. It’s a game of strategy and being able to adjust quickly! It’s a game of not just an opponent on the other side of the net, but you’re also battling elements of nature.
Never let anyone tell you you’re too short to play a sport. It’s not all about height. It’s about what you can bring to the table, and if you can contribute something greater than you’re already winning.