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Beach Volleyball Signs Four To Squad

Nov 12, 2020

BERKELEY – The Cal Beach Volleyball team signed four impact student-athletes to the squad on Wednesday. Ella Dreibholz, Alena Korobko, Ella Sears and Alex Young bring a diverse set of skills and national team experience to a program on the rise, one that finished a shortened 2020 season with their best-ever final ranking in the AVCA Coaches Poll at no. 9. This group of four has two A1 National Team players from 2019 and experience winning matches.

"The biggest reason I like this group of girls is that there is no ego, they are ready to work," interim head coach Derek Olson said. "They are going to fit well academically, culturally and on the court. It is a well-rounded class with two defenders and two blockers. They have won in a variety of ways, all four of our signees can play either side and they all have good ball skills with high athletic potential. They are going to add value in so many different ways to our program and push the skill level of our current team even higher."

Alex Young is a native of La Jolla, California and comes to Cal from La Jolla High School, the same school as current freshman Maya Gessner. Young is a standout on the beach, as she is a member of the A1 USA U19 National Team in 2019. She plays club volleyball with Wave Beach. Young was named the Best Defensive Player at the BVCA Club Challenge in 2019 as she helped her club to a championship.

Young was a member of the All-Academic team and also competed in volleyball and track & field in high school. She was named a member of the September Classic All-Tournament with the volleyball team. She also played competitive ice hockey for the Anaheim Lady Ducks until 2018.

"Alex is a kid that I have known for a while, I first met her in San Diego when I was coaching down there when she was 13 or 14," Olson said. "She played a unique combination of sports in beach volleyball and ice hockey and she plays like you'd expect an ice hockey player to play; she's smooth in the sand, but really athletic with an aggressive style of play. She is one of the best defenders in the country in this class, bringing speed and physicality to that side of the ball. Alex can get up and swing hard at balls both in transition and in serve-receive. She is going to bring an intensity dynamic to the team that I think will be very good for the group."

Ella Sears joins the Bears from Aragon High School in nearby San Mateo, she played for the Kleos Volleyball Club. She was named to the A2 USA National Team in 2018 before joining the A1 USA National Team in 2019.

Sears also played on the indoor volleyball team at Aragon as she led her team to two CCS D2 crowns, a second-place finish in CIF in 2018. She was twice named to the Peninsula Athletic League All-Conference Team.

"Ella Sears is a local kid and she is one of the best in this high school class," Olson said. "She is a tall blocker with really good ball skills. She can pass with good angles; she can deliver a consistent tempo and location on her hand-sets, and provides a soft platform. Ella has played in and won a lot of tournaments locally in northern California and knows the game really well. She is a ball control blocker and does well at pulling defense. Ella can play either side and has no problem being out of her comfort zone, which will make her a great addition to the team."

Alena Korobko joins the Bears from Bellevue, Washington where she attended Lakeside School and plays for the Dakine Volleyball Club. She was named the Dakine Best Blocker in 2019 and won the Best Blocker Dakine Club Challenge in 2020. She has two first place finishes at the BVCA Club Challenge in 2018 and 2020, while taking second place in 2019. She has been involved with the USA Volleyball A2 Team Camps in both 2017 and 2018.

For Lakeside School, Korobko played on the indoor team where she was named to the WIAA 3A All-State First Team in 2018 and was a two-time All-Metro Mountain Division performer. She helped her squad to a first-place finish in the Metro League and the Sea-King District as well as a 2nd place finish in the WIAA 3A State Tournament during the 2018 season.

"I initially saw Alena at a USA Tryout a couple of years ago and she immediately caught my eye; she has a really long wingspan and makes her presence felt at the net," Olson said. "She's a great blocker, but she also has an ability to get low on serve receive and on defense, which is especially unique for someone her size. I'm really excited to work with her up at the net because she has the ability to do things that most girls can't. She also has a really good serve and is very physical offensively. She had to overcome a serious injury but she is back to playing full-time and we can't wait to see her progress. I think she is very under-rated but she'll make an impact." 

Ella Dreibholz comes to the Bears from Santa Monica, where she plays for Valley Girls Beach Volleyball Club. She also played on the indoor squad for Santa Monica High School where she was named Ocean League MVP in 2018 and had back-to-back first-team All-Ocean League selections.

Dreibholz is a member of the National Honors Society and the president and founder of the M.D.'s To Be club to help train people in CPR to help prevent the fact that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

"We had Ella Dreibholz at one of our camps a few years ago," Olson said. "She is a really polished defender who has won a lot of tournaments and matches with a number of different partners. She is going to be really good for our team, because she can play physically, but she also has good ball skills and reads the game really well. She will be able to play with anyone on our roster and that's a valuable asset to have. I love her demeanor on the court. She is never rattled and always stays engaged. She is easy to get along with and is going to fit in with our team culture and help us improve our program. I can't wait to work with her."