Orange Lutheran senior volleyball player Londyn Giles is taking her sport from the gym to the beach as a member of the Lancers girls beach volleyball team.
Giles played beach volleyball as a freshman before transferring to OLu and was excited to be a member of the program’s inaugural season last spring. She is back playing this year with sophomore partner Jaedyn Houston as the team works to earn a CIF berth.
“I think one of my favorite things (about beach volleyball) is my partner, Jayden,” says Giles. “I've never really had a partner like her. She's a libero for indoor (volleyball). We're two years apart, but we're super close, and we just have a really great time on the beach while keeping things super competitive.”
As a varsity team captain, Giles is a high-energy, vocal leader who brings her passion each day to the beach.
“Londyn is a determined competitor with a spirit of winning,” says OLu girls beach volleyball head coach Marc Laulhere. “She is very passionate at whatever she puts her mind to.”
In addition to playing both beach and indoor volleyball, Giles is on the Lancers girls lacrosse team and finds a way to balance playing two sports during the spring season.
“It's kind of crazy…but I love both of them,” says the 18-year old. “I think that lacrosse is a good break from beach volleyball and club volleyball. Just being with different girls and a totally different type of competition. That’s one thing that I love about it.”
Whether on the sand or in the gym, Giles sees volleyball as a mental game and has struggled at times with keeping the right mindset. Communication and connecting with her teammates has helped her overcome that challenge.
“When things get tough, I keep fighting,” says Giles. “I just get in my head a lot, and I think beach is a good opportunity to practice that and work on that. Just communicating with other players, teammates and coaches, I've learned a lot about myself through all of those experiences.”
After graduation, Giles is headed to Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho to play indoor volleyball, alongside majoring in kinesiology and sports management. She has great respect for her older brother, Tate, who is a member of BYU’s men’s lacrosse team. And although she didn’t become a Lancer until her sophomore year, she believes that being at OLu was where she was meant to be.
“I think everything that has happened in my life, especially with COVID, it was a big thing to me that everything worked out the way that it needed to,” says Giles. “I started playing beach volleyball my freshman year at a totally different school, and then here I am now. I'm able to play lacrosse at the same time and my schedule is crazy, but everything just kind of works out. That's really helped me trust in God and know that he's got a plan and everything's going to work out the way it needs to be.”