Orville Ready Blockers win mud volleyball championship

Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star Reporter

April 29, 2014

Romance in the mud anyone? Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Romance in the mud anyone? Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

 

Mud volleyball is back. After a one-year hiatus due to un-cooperative weather in 2013, mud volleyball returned with a vengeance last Friday afternoon in the 2014 edition of Springfest, hosted by Nanook Traditions.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Chair of the Nanook Traditions Board, Juan Cruz. “I know last year due to the weather it was too cold, but this year is perfect.” This was Cruz’s first time attending mud volleyball. “I think it’s great,” Cruz said. “We have a lot of kids dressing up, really dedicated to the sport so it’s pretty fun.”

Mud volleyball participant ready to start the next rally. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Mud volleyball participant ready to start the next rally. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Sixteen teams competed in the event, but it was the Orville Ready Blockers who came out as the champions. As a reward, they received a trophy that was made up of antlers. The event took place in the corner of the Nenana parking lot next to Ash Field. Two courts were set up next to each other side by side, thus there were could be up to two matches going on at the same time.

Each match consisted of one set, and the winner of each match was either the first team to score 25 points or the team with the most points at the end of the allotted time, which was 20 minutes. The tournament was single-elimination format, which means when a team loses, it is knocked out of the tournament and the winning team moves on to face the winner of the next match.

Board member Katie Griffin, who is also an Anthropology student at UAF, said that she and the rest of the board members were happy to have mud volleyball back. “We were all absolutely ecstatic about it,” Griffin said. “Last year, we did the best we could with the weather and no one really wanted to move it inside and we kind of had to. So this year, everyone was just stoked that it gets to be the way it should be.”

Griffin also discussed how significant she thinks mud volleyball is for Springfest. “Everyone gets that Friday off of school to participate in Springfest service,” Griffin explained. “That’s what the traditional day off is for. It’s become its own major piece of the tradition for sure.”

Even though mud volleyball was back on track, this year’s Springfest did not include the concert at the SRC that had taken place for the previous three years.

“We’ve been working since October trying to find a band for Springfest,” said Allie Bateman, chair of UAF concert board. “And we submitted tons of offers, but unfortunately we were competing with the really stressful festival circuit right now. For the most part, our offers were turned down just because of bands were booked already.”

Some UAF swimmers and a couple rifleman pose for their mud volleyball pics. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Some UAF swimmers and a couple rifleman pose for their mud volleyball pics. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Despite the absence of the big concert, the Board showcased three local bands who performed on the Wood Center patio last Thursday: The Phineas Gauge, The Super Saturated Sugar Strings and Young Fangs. Bateman said she was happy with the turnout. “The 300, 400 people that came out last night really had a lot of fun,” Bateman said. “Everyone that I saw and talked to had nothing but good things to say.” On the plus side, Bateman said, the concert board will have some extra money to use for attracting perhaps better bands to come in the future.

“The Concert Board absolutely worked their hardest,” Griffin said. “I think that the concert on the patio was a big hit that’s something we’d like to consider in the future.”

This is the final year for Griffin as a member of Student Activities and the Traditions Board, since she will be graduating this May. “I couldn’t ask for a better team of people to do it with,” Griffin said. “I think everyone had a good time this year.”

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