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Schulz bids bye to beach

Living just two miles from the beach, Carlsbad High’s Rylee Schulz will grab her father’s old surfboard and head off to ride some waves for relaxation.

If the waves aren’t rolling in at Tamarack Beach, the 6-foot outside hitter spends her time on the sand courts playing a little beach volleyball.

The beach is a huge factor in her life.

It always will be.

Schulz’s time at the beach has a shelf life, however.

When next fall rolls around, she will leave the beach behind to begin her indoor college volleyball career in Laramie, Wyo., playing for the University of Wyoming Cowboys.

Her beloved waves will be more than 1,200 miles away while she pursues a degree in animal science, and plays a little volleyball.

“I can never get lost in Carlsbad because I know the ocean is always west,” Schulz said. “It will be weird to not have the ocean nearby for the next few years.

“My new teammates at Wyoming have begun asking a lot of questions about how it is to live so close to the beach. Maybe I’ll get a lot of them visiting during summer vacation just to see what it’s like.”

Schulz has lived her whole life in Carlsbad and in the same bedroom.

She heard the stories from her parents about what life was like growing up in Iowa, how each of them had horses and how they managed being so far from the water.

Schulz has three chickens in her back yard, so a career involving animals is not such a stretch.

“I don’t mind cold weather,” she said. “It’s the wind there that gets you.”

Schulz is not to be deterred from the next phase of her life, even though it is way out of her comfort zone.

“I can always come home in summer, and when I’m done playing at Wyoming, I can always come home again,” Schulz said. “Wyoming had the major that will give me some great connections for my future.”

New Carlsbad coach Tom Bloomquist learned a lot very quickly about his offensive attacker, now in her third season as a Lancer after spending her freshman year at Santa Fe Christian in Solana Beach.

“She embraces whatever her role is,” Bloomquist said. “She doesn’t fear anyone or any situation. She only knows how to go one speed.”

Unlike last year’s senior class, which got to play a small handful of volleyball matches in the spring, Schulz understands how lucky she is, not just in where she lives but in the fact that her sport has returned to its normal slot in the fall.

She intends to squeeze every drop out of her last year at Carlsbad.

“I tend to keep things interesting for people around me,’’ Schulz said. “I’m so strong-willed. I am very mature as the youngest (of three children) at home.

“The last child watches how the older ones did things, arrives at decisions and executes their plan.”

Her plan included getting out of California, with its beautiful weather and luxurious beaches, for a while.

Carlsbad opened the season with a win in its first match.

Schulz will play a big part in the Lancers’ success.

“If we have any success this year,’’ Bloomquist added, “it will be because Rylee is our kill leader most matches. We need her to compete against the elite teams, so she has to bring her A game every day.”

Her A game, like her hard-charging style of living life, is just part of the overall package.

Even when the weather turns a little cold.

Monahan is a freelance writer.