Kirk Park turned into a volleyball extravaganza on Saturday for the annual Dig ‘n Dive Coed Volleyball Tournament. With seven nets spread throughout the park and nearly 60 players in attendance, 35 of which were MSU students, the Dig ‘n Dive Tournament served as an early season social and effective fundraiser for the Men’s Volleyball Club.
Teams paid a $20 entrance fee to play in the tournament, with 10 teams in the open division and six teams in the intermediate division. “We only had five teams in the open division until a few days ago,” said Peter Dantés Running, president of the Men’s Volleyball Club, “and all the intermediate teams are from Coach Qwade’s volleyball classes.”
Coach Qwade Magee jumped on board last year when the Men’s Volleyball Club was founded. He had teams play a round-robin tournament that kept players busy all day.
“What we’ll probably do in the spring is run stuff up on campus because we want it to be an MSU entity, and then we’ll invite people from the community,” said Magee. “We’ll still have an open division — but we’ll play up on campus because the grass is better.” The soft turf of Kirk Park did make for some muddy conditions, but despite a few slips, there were no injuries.
The intermediate division champions were JJ Olson, Mason Novak and Jeremiah Garmeau of The Spitting Llamas. Runner-up was Smash Bros. consisting of Nicole Reynolds, Kelle Kackman, Austin Robbins and Luke Kleinsasser. The champions in the open division came all the way from Billings to play in the tournament. Matty Hancock and Terrell and Tasia Gates of Team Gates took the top spot over the Dumbledores, consisting of Alex Faught, Peter Dantés Running and Bert Palagi. Dantés and Palagi are founding members of the MSU Men’s Volleyball Club. “We had a solid group last year,” Dantés said of the club, “but we lost about five guys so we’re starting over from the beginning this year and trying to build a lot more interest with the underclassmen.”
“For a lot of these people, other than gym class in high school, this is the first time any of them are touching a ball,” said Coach Magee. “The great thing that happens with something like this, is when you add the competitive factor to what they’re doing their skills just naturally get better.”
Coach Magee suggests that students looking to improve their volleyball skills should attend open gym at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center. Sundays may also be added to the open gym volleyball schedule. The first Volleyball Club meeting will be held Sunday, Sept. 16 at 1:30 p.m. in the South Gym at the fitness center and is open to both men and women. For the more information, students can contact Coach Magee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Dantés Running at 937-207-4780.