Hart grad brings beach volleyball to Santa Clarita

Kiley Gustin jumps in the air to spike the ball during practice. By Michele Lutes/The Signal

Sand Volleyball in Santa Clarita

By Michele Lutes

A new volleyball facility is bringing the beach to valley. SCV Beach Volleyball is a four-court facility located in Newhall looking to help athletes with their sports development.

“Santa Clarita is far enough from the beach, so there is a need and a demand for a beach volleyball facility,” said Mark Lee, volleyball facility owner and coach. “I am looking to meet that demand.”

Lee would like to open the facility to local colleges for training, host tournaments, summer camps and volleyball leagues for all ages.

“For any kid just to come out and run and jump in the sand is super fun,” Lee said. “I’d like to just get them running and jumping in the sand whether they’re trying to play volleyball or play other sports. I think it’s great for sports development.”

Lee is opening the facility to benefit more than just local athletes.

“I’d love to see retired communities come in and just walk the property. Be in the sand at this beautiful location with all these trees and hawks flying by overhead, instead of having to drive all the way down the beach,” Lee said.

Lee is a Hart High School alumni athlete who has been coaching volleyball for years, most recently at Los Angeles Trade-Tech College. He had been offered a coaching job in San Antonio, Texas years ago, where he was inspired by the sand volleyball facilities.

“It was my dream to kind of start to build some beach volleyball courts and do this when I moved back from San Antonio about four years ago,” Lee said.

After years of searching, Lee signed a lease for a piece of land located at 23925 The Old Road in Newhall.

“It’s taken me awhile to actually get the courts built. Longer than I thought it would,” Lee said. “It seems pretty simple to just put some sand on some dirt because that’s basically what it was.”

The facility he found was just a piece of dirt filled with some trash from the previous tenants.

“Cleaning that up and building the courts took a while, but we finally got it done and there is a lot more work to do. It’s just the beginning now,” Lee said.

Sand was brought in from a quarry in Simi Valley and donated equipment was used to assemble the courts.

“I used to work with the head coach of the women’s beach team at USC at Santa Monica college and she was generous enough to donate some of her old equipment,” Lee said.

As the facility continues to evolve, plans include bringing in tables and chairs for spectators.

When the facility is fully finished, Lee will be living his dream while coaching athletes to develop their skills in volleyball and other sports.

“The name I’m looking at is SCV Beach Volleyball,” Lee said.

Although renovations are continuing, Lee plans to open the facility for free open play on weekends.

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4 and 5 the facility will be hosting free open play beach volleyball from 5:30-8:30 p.m. For more information and questions, contact Mark Lee at [email protected].

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