El Camino freshman transitions from indoor to beach volleyball

Freshman+Micah+Hammond+has+enjoyed+a+successful+2017+beach+volleyball+season.+Hammond+and+her+teammate+finished+as+state+runner+ups.+Photo+credit%3A+John+Lopez

Freshman Micah Hammond has enjoyed a successful 2017 beach volleyball season. Hammond and her teammate finished as state runner ups. Photo credit: John Lopez

At the age of seven an energetic girl and her friend were hitting a volleyball back-and-forth to each other on the playground for the first time.

The excitement welled up, the smiles on both of their faces were bright.

Nothing seemed to matter that day, except for playing volleyball.

That same evening, Micah Hammond went to her mom and convinced her to sign her up on a team. She participated in volleyball clinics at her local park and at the age of 11 she started to compete.

Fourteen years later, her love for the game has impacted her life in ways that she did not know were possible.

“Volleyball definitely helped (in) getting my confidence up and be more outgoing,” Hammond said. “It has also given me more friends and be responsible in school to pass my classes because If I don’t do well then I can’t play and then I let my teammates down.”

After playing beach volleyball for only three months at El Camino, Hammond and partner, Michelle Shimamoto, placed as the 2017 State Runner-ups for beach volleyball on May 7 in Saratoga, CA.

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The 6-foot 1-inch, green-eyed athlete always steps onto the court with a smile shining on her face. She is all business when she competes.

Playing under coach Le Valley Pattison at El Camino has pushed Hammond to become a better player and a physically stronger athlete.

“Second place in the state is fantastic,” Pattison said. “You have to remember that Micah is three months into her beach volleyball career and the learning process was fast. I’m really proud of them, I think it’s the best they played all year and it’s a good time to do it.”

The 2015 freshman at California State University East Bay was unable to keep playing at the Division II level due to medical reasons.

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Photo credit: John Lopez

Hammond, 21, psychology major, says that getting back on the court after dealing with her medical situation was not easy.

“I needed a lot of patience to get through those times knowing that I wasn’t going to be as fit as I was before,” she said. “I talked to a lot of people who were there for me and I did a lot of yoga.”

After college she hopes to become a high school counselor in Southern California and help students take the right courses to be college ready. Her counselor at North Torrance High School prepared and set her up for success.

Her father, Paul Hammond, said that Micah has always had a heart for others and has done many things to help people when they are in need.

“She is a great person,” her father said. “She has an excitement for life. She is fiercely loyal, creative, genuine and a lot of fun.”

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