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CU Volleyball, without the Spandex
CU’s varsity volleyball team has always been the dominant volleyball team on campus. Granted, with their talented girls and Big 12 competitors, it would be logical to think of them first. However, beyond varsity, there is an emerging club team that is starting to shake things up both locally at CU and nationally.
The CU Men’s Club Volleyball team adds a little more testosterone to the game and a lot less spandex. Their high level of play and talented players has helped add a new perspective to volleyball in Boulder. Although the girls and the guys play the game similarly, there are still some differences between the two such as the height of the net, adding a whole new dimension to the game.
Men’s Coach Koa Avery said, “While they both very much look the same to watch, when you evaluate it statistically and from a coaching standpoint, especially in matches, they’re very different games. There are different aspects of the skills, the strategies and the tactics that we use between the men’s game and the women’s game.”
Former Buff and player Coach Avery has been coaching the men’s club team here at CU for the past three years. After being with the team for three seasons and being able to watch them grow both as teammates and individuals, he says that one of the driving forces of the team and their successes is their chemistry both on and off the court.
“The chemistry is, I’d almost say it’s one surprise after another…. The more they hang out, and the better they are friends off the court, the easier it is for them to work together on the court.”
Being one of only two men’s volleyball club teams in the state of Colorado, these men are motivated to play at a higher level in order to be able to match up with nationally ranked teams. Last year, they reached a milestone when they played in the national championship tournament in Kansas City. Going into the tournament they were ranked 27th, but by the end they tied for 5th in the nation.
Senior Marty O’Connor said that their strong bonds of friendship have helped create those successes while also helping them move forward.
“There’s that level of comfort because we can communicate at a level that’s friendly and it moves us forward when we need to. We don’t need to break any barriers of communication because we are already so comfortable with it.”
However, he also said that while they do keep a serious mentality on the court, they also leave room for a little bit of fun and enjoyment.
“Our team is a bunch of pranksters, a bunch of jokesters with each other, and I think the weekends definitely help. Boulder’s a great place for weekends. I think we can all work pretty well together off the court.”
The team will compete in the Las Vegas Open this weekend. They have high hopes to make the gold bracket so that they will be placed in a high ranking for the National Championship tournament coming up in April.
To find out more about the Men’s Club Volleyball team or to learn how you can become part of the team, check out their website at: