Serving at the Novo Volleyball Tournament
Live capture of an intense rally at the tournament. (Taken by Chloe Rusek.)

Serving at the Novo Volleyball Tournament

On Mar. 12, New College students and faculty hit the freshly redone courts to play in a competitive Volleyball Tournament. The heated games lasted from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as students enjoyed hot dogs, burgers and cold drinks on the sidelines. Crowds lined up to see teams like Salty Crew, Yidong’s Angels, the Volley Llamas and the Null Setters go head-to-head. The tournament was facilitated by members of the Volleyball Club, first-year Alexis Williams, thesis student London Weier and Volleyball Team Captain and third-year Cynthia Lucas in collaboration with Campus Recreation Coordinator Jacob Brody-Ogborn (‘22).

The Volleyball Tournament not only allowed students to enjoy a day of recreation, but it also brought attention to the Volleyball Club on campus. Current members hosted a team practice on Mar. 8 and 10 for those competing in the tournament to prepare. Since the tournament was open to those of all skill levels, it was a great opportunity for less experienced players to get their moves honed for the games. Williams spoke about her experiences with the sport with an interview with the Catalyst.

“After this event, I do think the club will get more exposure on campus, especially after people see that anyone can learn to play volleyball regardless of skill level,” Williams said. “Cynthia and I both really enjoy teaching and helping people so everyone can be given the opportunity to enjoy the sport.”

Student volunteers keeping score for the Gym Bros vs Null Setters match. (Taken by Brynn Halpern.)

Brody-Ogborn spoke with the Catalyst on Mar. 7 about the preparation for the event.

“We started advertising about three weeks ago,” Brody-Ogborn said. “Students, staff and faculty could sign up using the QR code. We now have all the teams and have made a bracket-style competition. The teams will play until there are only two teams left that have not lost. Then the final game will happen.” 

“Planning started after the volleyball court was renovated,” he continued. “We wanted to have a ceremonious event to celebrate the new court. We then started to look at dates that would work and talk about logistics of marketing, to-do’s beforehand and general event logistics.”

This planning contributed to the great turnout. The 11 teams all had sand flying as they jumped, served and set the ball. The spring heat radiated onto the freshly redone white sand as the ball was set into the sky time and time again. 

For the semi-finals, the faculty team, the Volley Llamas, went head to head against team Gym Bros, with plays that shocked audiences as they managed to consistently keep the ball into the air. The Volley Llamas reigned victorious in the semi-final game moving them to compete against team Salty Crew for the finals. 

The Volley Llamas in the final game of the tournament. (Taken by Brynn Halpern.)

The Salty Crew proved to be tough competition against the faculty and staff, considering their members consisted of the Volleyball Club members. However the Volley Llamas prevailed with the score 25-14, putting them at the top of the leaderboard. 

Lucas gave her overview of the event to the Catalyst in an email interview. 

“I felt like the event was really successful,” Lucas wrote. “We had between 50-60 people attend and it was really encouraging to see everyone who showed up to support their friends! It was a really fun time and we’re definitely planning to put on another tournament before the end of the semester.

“I hope that the Volleyball Club is able to get more exposure from this event,” Lucas continued.. “We practice every Wednesday and Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.!”

Second-year Colin Jefferis and member of Team Aurelie spoke about his experiences with the event. 

“As a beginner, I felt that the tournament was great for all levels of skill and was fun for everyone,” Jefferis said. “Melody Scott killed it, Aurelie Campbell did amazing—even though we didn’t serve right we were still serving. Thank you Cynthia!”

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