Bertram thrilled to sign with Warriors
Mark Pinson | Highlands TodayLAKE PLACID - Since beginning to play volleyball in middle school, Lake Placid's Shelbi Bertram has made giant strides in the demanding sport.
Published: February 14, 2013
Published: February 14, 2013
Her athleticism and ability didn't go unnoticed as Bertram signed to play beach volleyball for Webber International University on Wednesday.
"This is such an exciting day," Bertram said. "I like beach volleyball more than regular volleyball and I looked at other schools, but I played club volleyball for the Webber coach and I like the school."
Bertram played varsity for three years and was a key player for the Green Dragons at her outside hitter position. She was a team captain, had 65 kills and 96 digs, and was selected to the Highlands Today All-Highlands Volleyball Team this past season.
Beach volleyball is much different since there are only two players on each team. Two-person beach volleyball is gaining in popularity and is now an Olympic sport.
"I feel like playing on the sand is easier," said Bertram. "You have to move around and cover a lot of ground and that plays to my quickness and reflexes."
Webber International University is an NAIA school in Babson Park and the Warriors were the first school in the country to begin playing beach volleyball.
"We started the beach volleyball program at Webber five years ago," Warriors Coach Tim Edfors said. "The NCAA started beach volleyball last year and we've got the only men's beach volleyball team in the country.
"A lot of our players competed in multiple sports and that helps their speed and agility because moving in the sand is very difficult."
The Warriors think Bertram has a lot of potential.
"Shelbi played club volleyball for me and she's always been an outstanding athlete," Edfors said. "She has the desire to play in college; she's fast and is a perfect candidate for beach volleyball."
Seeing Bertram sign to play volleyball in college, while working toward a marketing degree, was a special moment for the family.
"We're super proud of Shelbi," said her mother, Shannon Bertram. "Her first club volleyball experience was through Coach Edfors and she's known him for quite a while. There's a lot of travel and expense involved in club volleyball, but it's paid off.
"We're glad she's going to Webber because we can come see her play and I'm extremely happy that she chose beach volleyball because it fits her style of play."
Making the transition to college and competing against top athletes is a challenge Bertram is looking forward to.
"I played a lot of positions in high school and I don't think adjusting to beach volleyball is going to be that difficult," the Green Dragon athlete said. "I'll start school in the fall and I can't wait to move up there and live in the dorm."
Recruiting talented players like Bertram and others from around the world gives the Warriors a good chance to be successful on all levels.
"Beach volleyball is more of an individual thing and it's unique in that you work with one partner," Edfors said. "Shelbi will bond with that person and we'll see how good she can get over the next few years.
"This is a great sport and it continues to grow in college and I have a passion for it and I love training kids to go on and maybe compete in the Olympics one day."
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