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A jolly, volley time

Recreational volleyball teams enjoy social time and exercise

David Pressgrove

Initially they joked that the reason they were out on the court was to pay the bills they owe their team sponsor.

But when it gets down to it, the members of the McCandless Animal Hospital recreational volleyball team admit it’s nice to have something to do in the fall.

“Getting out once a week to socialize and get some exercise is nice,” said team member Pam Taylor. “It’s sometimes our only opportunity to see each other.”

Kelly Hepworth, owner of the animal hospital, said the team of six members is connected through his business either as customers or workers, hence the “pay the bills” comment from some of the players.

“When we first started playing it almost was a sentence to play for me because everyone was beating us,” Hepworth said of the team’s first season in the fall of 2001. “But now we’ve actually started to play well.”

Other team members include Rebecca Runyan, Rusty Taylor, Barry Barnes and Amy Andrews. The team said it improved its record to 6-0 according to the official results they’ve lost one with a 15-12, 15-8 victory over U-Can.

The Craig Parks and Recreation Department runs the volleyball league with a competitive league on Monday and a semi-competitive league on Tuesday nights at Craig Middle School.

According to coordinator Pam Brethauer, the volleyball league is in its 10th or 11th year. There are five teams in the semi-competitive and six in the competitive league.

“There’s not much for adults to do in the fall as far as recreation,” Brethauer said. “It is just a fun time to get out and get the heart rate up.”

The members of the hospital team said they enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the semi-competitive league.

“There’s no reason to be intimidated,” Hepworth said. “You don’t have to be athletic to come out and hit the ball around.”

Rusty Taylor jokingly said volleyball serves as cheap therapy.

“It’s sort of an anger management class,” Taylor said. “You can hit the ball as hard as you want and it feels good.”

While the team enjoys the relaxed no-pressure atmosphere in the semi-competitive league, they can foresee moving up now that they’re winning.

“It’d be nice to move up if we continue to do well,” Barnes said. “They only thing I wish was different was that there would be more teams in the semi to play. But some of them moved up this year.”

Teams can ask to be moved up to the competitive league or, if they win the semi-competitive league two seasons in a row, they automatically move up.

For right now the team members hope to continue to play well, enjoy themselves and not get hurt. They believe the latter is the hardest of the three.

“The only way we get hurt is if we run into each other,” Hepworth said. “But that was the team of old.”


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