“What do you mean we have to write the numbers in big on the front?”
If there is one thing worse than waking up at 8am for a volleyball tournament on Sunday, it’s playing at the picturesque dungeon known as the MIT gym. Needless to say, the HBS Ballers — captained by Eric “Downtown” Brown (OJ) – had a successful debut at a Mens Yankee tournament on October 18, competing against teams from across New England.
It was the first tournament for this international squad, composed of players from Kazakhstan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Even though the team had a colourful array of passports, a lack of access to the HBS endowment left the team to show-up to their first match with a random assortment of T-shirts as uniforms. This caused quite a stir for the refereeing crew, who demanded that the team adhere to precise specifications for hand drawn-on numbers. This psychological smack-down left the team exposed mentally, as their opponents had two significant advantages – experience (gray hair) and proper funding (uniforms). Consequently, the Ballers lost the first game in straight sets.
After a strategic realignment giving Josh “I do fingertip pushups all night” Stephens (KSG) free reign to run the offense, the Ballers won the next match in straight sets. In particular, Gene “don’t call me Borat” Kakaulin (OB) and Gustavo “Quickset” De Loyola (OF) found the floor with kills, and Jonathan “I lost my kneepads” Assayag (NB) made some incredible digs late in the second set. The afternoon matches were a mixed bag. Graig “80% and in” Keklikian (OJ) became more effective hitting from the power position, and Oliver “I pass nails for a living” Bladek (NJ) served and passed up a storm. Ultimately the Ballers fell a bit short, losing each of the final two sets by 2 points, eliminating them from playoff contention.
Look for the HBS Ballers to represent at the annual HBS tournament on November 22, and for section intramurals to begin November 3.