Maas and Collins earn AAA rating at Playa Del Rey

Local Samantha Maas, at 17 years old, earned her AAA rating in the Women’s division at a CBVA beach tournament at Playa Del Rey on Sunday.

As a high school varsity and club indoor volleyball player, this was only Maas’ third “adult” beach tournament. In the previous two tournaments, she did not break out of pool play. But on a sunny, blistering hot day, Maas and her partner K.C. Collins not only broke out of pool play to enter into playoffs, but also won the tourney.

Collins, a volleyball coach by trade, partnered up with Maas, who recently graduated from Dunn School in Santa Ynez just a short while ago. The win was a surprise considering the duo had little practice time and a combined average height of a whopping 5’4″.

In pool play, they opened up with a loss to another Santa Barbara local team who played a solid game and eventually won the pool. Collins and Maas won the next two games to finish second and move into playoffs, where they swept their opponents in the quarterfinals (21-17) and semi finals (21-5).

Next was a tight battle (22-20) against Barbara Letts and Vladia Vignato.

“Something just clicked and she just mentally took over the game,” Collins said. “I don’t think Sam made a single error in the second half. She was going to win that game with or without me! It’s exciting to see someone that young take a mature leadership role on the court and have such a competitive spirit. Her love of the game and passion in competition were extremely evident all day.”

Maas will be attending Cal Poly next year, where she plans to study Landscape Architecture & Design and will try out for the women’s volleyball team. Collins is the Administrative Director and coach for the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club and a coach for Santa Barbara High, and has been competing off and on in beach tournaments since 1995.