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From soccer to the sand: Brooke Golik stands out for Cal Poly Beach Volleyball

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Apr 20, 2023

Under Head Coach and former Olympic Gold medalist, Todd Rogers, Cal Poly Beach Volleyball is a powerhouse in the sport since he took over the program in 2016.

Even though the team has struggled this year with injuries and top-ranked opponents, one of the bright spots has been transfer Brooke Golik, who for the first four years of her college career was on the pitch.

“I remember thinking, Wow, she's a really good player, really good athlete, and in fact, one of the best beach volleyball players in the country," Rogers said of Golik's ability when she was in school down in Northridge, CA. "But then I found out after I talked to her club coach that she's committed to play soccer at SMU.”

After four years at Southern Methodist University, Golik finished off her time in Texas starting 50 out of 51 games earning accolades as a center back and defender but after graduation she fell back on the other sport she used to excel at during her high school days in Southern California.

“I told a lot of people, Look, I'll just come back to it once my soccer seasons are done and I did,” Golik said.

Golik graduated from SMU in December of 2021 but getting back into the sand and swing of things was easier said than done.

“Take some humbling moments and give myself grace because you can't just go from A to B and expect perfection, right? That's a little insane,” Golik laughed.

But Coach Rogers knew that once Golik got her feet back underneath her, that she’d be able to dominate once again.

“I expected her to be able to, over the time period, come in and be a real key cog on her team and she is,” Rogers stated.

Golik and her partner Delaney Paranich are 16-8 on the season, riding a six-match win streak heading into the Big West Championships as their last four wins came against ranked opponents at the COE Challenge on their home sand.

“The deep synergy and connection that we have as a pairing definitely showcases out in the court and that's why we get it done,” Golik said of her and Paranich's chemistry.

After some soul searching in ironing out why she decided to come back to beach volleyball, Golik’s maturity and team-first mentality took precedent.

“Am I coming from a prideful place where I just want it for myself? Or is it me trying to humble myself below my teammates and really be there to serve the team?" Golik said candidly. "It was a beautiful gut check moment to understand that yes, I'm here to serve as a team because I only have one year. We're just going to make the most of it.”

Cal Poly competes in Honolulu, HI this weekend in the Big West Championships as the defending champions before the NCAA Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama May 5-7.