Spent the afternoon at the University of Colorado, Boulder‘s lovely Coors Event Center watching NCAA women’s volleyball, CU against the Arizona Wildcats, the first PAC12 win for the women’s team this season. Way to go, buffs!
The game was great fun, exciting, and boy can they play! There were some amazing spikes and recoveries, dives, backwards runs to get the ball way, way out of court and bring it back into play. Really great volleyball with many plays that were jaw-droppingly fast and accurate on both sides. In fact, CU won the first two sets, then Arizona came back and won the third and fourth sets, until finally the Buffs won the last set 15-9 and took the match.
Here are some photos I took from the stands:
The point was CU’s in this case: the CU women’s team are in white (the gal in black is the libero, a sort of pinch hitter for high school and college volleyball) and the Arizona team are in red jerseys.
Then Arizona for the point:
One interesting strategy that both teams used was to have more than one woman jump up for the spike so that the receiving team would get confused and not know where the ball would come from. Seemed pretty darn effective, as you can see in the above photo where two Arizona players are leaping for the spike.
Now if there was more than one volleyball in play… but that’d be a different game, wouldn’t it? More like pinball!
Back and forth, at times quite the battle. There were definitely times when one of the players would leap up and spike it so hard over the net that I was really glad I wasn’t on the receiving end of the play!
What amazed me was how few people were at the game. Look at the stands:
What’s even more amazing is what a good deal it is: $5 per person and you can sit anywhere. That’s right, you can buy this super cheap ticket and go right down the front row if you want (though I think that a dozen rows back is better, personally).
Since my daughter is part of a volleyball team she actually got in for free. So $5 total for an afternoon of some excellent athletics. And parking’s free too! How often is that the case on a college campus for sports?
And then there was the sportsmanship. I don’t know if it’s just the CU marching band or what, but every time I’ve been to a game at CU I have gritted my teeth over the taunts and snarky cheers from the band when the other team is shooting a free throw or, in volleyball, serving. Why? Why is that a part of college sports?
Here’s just one example, of the band leaping and gesticulating so that the Arizona server would miss the serve:
I can appreciate school enthusiasm and cheers as much as the next college grad, but why not cheer the home team and shut up when the other team is serving or otherwise making their play? Blech.
Quite honestly, that’s the only thing that bugs me about these games, whether it’s volleyball, basketball or football. Why is this part of the American college sports psyche??