Festivities serve as a break from the books

For most of the 20 who gathered at the Perry Field House Saturday afternoon, it didn’t seem to matter much that finals week was bearing just 48 hours ahead.

“I’m so sick of school right now,” said Ashley Belrose, a freshman, “it’s good to get away.”

The escape, in this case, was volleyball – specifically, the BGSU Marine Biology Association’s seventh annual 4×4 Coed Indoor Volleyball Tournament.

The tournament, which charged $40 per team, was held to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It raised around $200 for the fund.

“I think it’s great that it’s for a good cause, and I get to play some volleyball too,” said Alison Broadfoot, a graduate student. “It’s a good situation.”

Matt Partin, a University biology instructor and faculty adviser to the association and the men’s and women’s club volleyball teams, organized the tournament. He said his mother-in-law has multiple sclerosis.

“I love volleyball, for one, I think it’s a lot of fun,” Partin said, “plus I’m the adviser for the volleyball team so I thought well, it’s a good way to get them together.”

The five teams, featuring names ranging from the basic to those unprintable in this newspaper, were mostly made up of members from the club teams.

Partin joked that the promise of that opposition might have led to a lower turnout than years past, when the number of teams pushed 20.

“I talked to some people and they were like, ‘well, what’s the competition going to be like?'” Partin said, “I think they were a little nervous, they didn’t think they’d be able to compete with these guys.”

But for some, like Heath Hamilton, a junior, fear was not an option.

“Not at all,” Hamilton said with a joking laugh, “these guys suck.”

Belrose suddenly felt nervous when she found out who would be playing.

“Yeah, that kid’s scary,” she said, pointing toward a 6-foot male with uncanny leaping ability. “I didn’t know it was going to be, like, amazing volleyball players here.”

Belrose said the athletic director at her high school, where she played volleyball, had MS.

Kyle Reitz, an alumnus, played on the club team and in the tournament while he was a student.

“We’re all friends,” Reitz said as he punched away an incoming ball, protecting both reporter and interviewee. “They scare me on a personal level, but not on a playing level.”

Despite the lower-than-average turnout, the tournament was a success for even being held.

Partin said rain had canceled play the past two years.

“It rained, so we went to our rain date, and it was still raining on the rain date,” he said, “so we just decided to forget all this outdoor business, we’re just going to play inside at the field house, we know that it’ll be good.”

The tournament has even drawn some big names on campus in the past.

“Jordan Sigalet came out last year, he played in it with his brother (former BGSU hockey player, Jonathan Sigalet) ,” Partin said.

Sigalet, a former goaltender for the Falcons hockey team – now with the NHL’s Boston Bruins, along with Jonathan – announced he had MS in late 2004.

“They did pretty well, actually.”