Beach volleyball becomes big deal at Rolling Hills Prep

Donors John and Janine Colich, coach Anna Collier and AD Harvey Kitani at beach volleyball courts at Rolling Hills Prep.
Breaking ground for new beach volleyball courts at Rolling Hills Prep are donors John and Janine Colich (left), coach Anna Collier and AD Harvey Kitani.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

With two giant tractors nearby ready to start clearing dirt, John and Janine Colich officially broke ground on Wednesday for two new sand volleyball courts they are funding at Rolling Hills Prep in San Pedro that should be completed in six to eight weeks, just in time for the first ever beach volleyball season in California high school sports that begins on Feb. 12.

“I’m thrilled,” Rolling Hills Prep head of schools Amy Hollinger said. “I’m grateful for the Colichs. It’s going to be a great addition for our school. We want to lead the way.”

Rolling Hills Prep is already leading the way in its first beach volleyball coach. Anna Collier, who guided USC to three national titles, is running the program. John Colich was a strong supporter of Collier when she was coaching at USC and recommended her to Rolling Hills Prep athletic director Harvey Kitani. Now Rolling Hills Prep is ready to hit the ground running.


“Oh my gosh. Is this amazing?” Collier said.

The two fields will be visible along the street entrance to the campus.

Beach volleyball was approved for girls as a new CIF sport last school year. According to the latest statistics from the Southern Section, 75 schools have committed as of this week to having teams and more are expected before the official start on Feb. 12. That’s a good sign that beach volleyball could become an official Southern Section championship sport as early as next season, with 113 schools needing to adopt the sport to for the Southern Section to hold playoffs.

Collier is promising big things in the future. “We are going to win,” she said.

New program to recruit young Black, Indigenous people of color for aquatic careers opens for registration on Friday.

Sept. 8, 2021