Scene set for student staff volleyball game

By Nader Ihmoud

Trash-talking is usually discouraged between students and staff, but both sides have been playfully poking fun at each other in preparation for the semi-annual staff versus student volleyball game hosted by the Renegades.

The event, scheduled for Nov. 14 from 6 – 8 p.m., has historically favored the staff team. Of the four games played so far, the staff has taken three, according to Abby Cress, vice president of the Renegades and sophomore fashion studies major.

The game is usually scheduled during fall or spring Field Days, but this year it had to be postponed because of a scheduling conflict with the staff team, Cress said. Forrest Frazier, Renegades secretary and junior film and video major, said the change in schedule may benefit the student team and help reverse the staff’s winning streak.

“This is going to be the second time in two years that we’ve actually been on a court,” Frazier said. “The students will be a lot faster now. The staff just got lucky we were on sand because we’re used to playing indoors. When we’re playing in sand, we’re out of our element.”

The Renegades volleyball team has been preparing for the event during Monday night practices at the South Loop Elementary School gym, 1212 S. Plymouth Court. During practice on Oct. 31, Brady Hudson, volleyball team captain and sophomore theatre major, said this year, the student team has a “secret weapon,” although he wouldn’t reveal who or what it is.

The Renegades are confident that their team is are going to beat the staff team this year. The staff, however, is equally as confident, saying they have “experience

in treachery.”

“We have the talent and they don’t, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s sand or hard court,” said Mark Kelly, vice president of Student Affairs. “They’ll be sprawling on the floor and tending to all of their aches and pains at the end of the match.”

The Renegades plan to use this change to their advantage. The one win the team has over the staff occurred during the only competition held on hard courts, according to Kelly. Frazier said that the student team is more “in their element” on the hard court.

Frazier is confident in his volleyball teammates and said he is expecting all nine players to come out in full force.

“This year, because we’re going to have our full team out here, I don’t really expect much of a competition,” Frazier said. “I mean, they’re old.”

The event is open to all Columbia students, family and friends, but only Columbia students can play on the team, according to Cress.

“Anyone can come,” Cress said. “We want people to show up and cheer on the student team and show their support.”

Frazier added that while the event is a fun way to bring awareness to the fitness programs that Columbia has to offer, it also brings the community together in a way that mimics other colleges’ athletic programs.

“Columbia is never going to be like Ohio State or another huge college, so [for] these types of games we want to get as many people as possible because it’s always good to have school spirit,” Frazier said. “You get a sense of school pride, which is what [the Renegades] want to do.”

Kelly agreed, although he said intercollegiate athletics are not a priority at Columbia and that the college will “never go down that path.”

“There’s a rich life beyond the classroom [at Columbia],” Kelly said. “And it’s great that our athletic executive committee has really done a great job of moving forward with students leading active, physical lives.”