Matt Linsacum, center, dives for a ball during the championship game of Saturday’s Mud Splash volleyball tournament at Loudy-Simpson Park. Linsacum’s team, the Mud Sharks, would go on to top The Valley for first place.

Photo by Ben Bulkeley

Matt Linsacum, center, dives for a ball during the championship game of Saturday’s Mud Splash volleyball tournament at Loudy-Simpson Park. Linsacum’s team, the Mud Sharks, would go on to top The Valley for first place.

Mud Splash crowns new winners in Craig

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After countless matches, and gallons of mud, a winner emerged from the pits during the Craig Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Mud Splash volleyball tournament Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.

The tournament had 12 teams volleying in the mud for a chance to be crowned winners, and by the time the pits had cleared, the Mud Sharks were winners over The Valley.

The two teams appeared to be evenly matched, with The Valley winning the first game to extend the tournament.

But, in the second game, the Mud Sharks couldn’t be tamed, and came away with a first-place trophy.

Gregory Hixson said the Mud Sharks were locked in during the entire tournament.

“I thought we played awesome,” he said. “We only lost one game, and we won our way to the finals.”

Making the tournament more enjoyable was the status of the mud pit — a hole in the middle of the ground, filled knee-deep with murky water.

“They were good,” Hixson said. “I thought the pits were a lot less rocky than last year. So that was good.”

Last year’s pits were not also rocky, but cold.

That wasn’t the case Saturday.

As the temperatures climbed into the 90s, the pits were also used as an impromptu swimming hole.

Like Gregory, Brandy Hixson said the pits were improved from a year ago.

“They weren’t as bad,” she said. “Last year, there were a lot of rocks, but this year it wasn’t nearly as bad.”

Rocky pits or not, Brandy Hixson said the Mud Sharks would be tough to beat on dry land or in the water.

“We did well,” he said. “We did everything we needed to win.”

The reason behind their hot streak was teamwork, Brandy said.

“We were clicking,” she said. “We worked really well together the entire tournament.”

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