Do you find the usual men’s sports at RIT to be a little low on the extreme scale? Want to see a true spectacle? Take your coffee with testosterone and your volleyball fiery? Come watch Men’s Club Volleyball and feel your thirst for intense action become satiated with their raw power, smart play and love of the game.
Watching these guys play does leave a pretty valid question unanswered: Why doesn’t RIT just make the team official and let them duke it out for a division instead of keeping them a club? There was definitely no doubt in any of the spectators’ minds that these athletes could battle with the best of them. The entire campus should at least have a regular venue to watch these athletes perform, because if their pre-season tournament on October 17 is any indication, this is the sport to watch.
Even though the mood was casual, the competition between RIT and area schools like University of Rochester, Buffalo State, St. John Fisher and SUNY Brockport proved downright powerful and undeniably entertaining. The games went off like clockwork all day, starting as early as 9:30 a.m. and coming to a halt around 7:00 p.m.
While almost 12 hours of nonstop volleyball would be asking a lot of any fan, the players made it look easy, fighting with an unfaltering intensity throughout the day that kept the matches fresh and dynamic. RIT kept cool and collected, confident in their ability to fight any team in attendance. Club President Matt Catanzoro, a fourth year Computer Engineering major, even asked, “Should we make it close?” prior to a match with Fredonia. This swagger proved well earned over the course of the day.
To keep their performance up, RIT substituted players more often than their opponents, which definitely contributed to the team’s overall success. A shifting roster usually spells hiccups in momentum for a team in any sport, but RIT never missed a beat. The constant barrage of volleyball fury no matter who was on the court is a spectacular testament to the team’s overall skill, making for several thrilling games.
Despite these changing lineups, team Captain Donald Gleason, a fourth year Industrial & Systems Engineering major, remained the only constant. His lighthearted approach to interacting with his team kept their spirits high in the rare times when the Tigers found themselves actually challenged. Gleason seemed content to play second fiddle to any one of his teammates, putting up perfectly-placed sets practically nonstop throughout every match. He didn’t get too many opportunities to spike, but when he did, the crowd couldn’t help but marvel at his power and expert placing. His thrilling serves sent chills down players’ spines two
To fill a scheduling vacancy, a team comprised of alumni and experienced bystanders made the event abundantly more extreme. This rag-tag motley crew went by the name “The Brady Bunch,” and dished out some of the day’s more extraordinary beatdowns, including stunning bouts with their RIT comrades to give the Tiger’s their first tournament loss. These two powerhouses locked each other in a series of the aggressive and spirited rallies, forcing RIT to step up their game even further to combat the other teams.
The Tiger’s undoubtedly hosted a fun, full day of aggressive volleyball, definitely leaving no spectator disappointed. If the games played on the 17th are any indication, Men’s Volleyball will, without a doubt, deliver heated battles in their regular season. Go see them play, you won’t be disappointed.