Students defeat staff in semiannual volleyball match

By Lindsey Woods

Columbia padded their record against the staff team, 2-5, after the semiannual staff versus student volleyball match on Nov. 14.

In three sets, the student team, which consisted of seven Renegades volleyball players and seven students not volleyball team members, defeated the staff team in a close competition. The match was played with volley scoring, and both teams had enough players to rotate in from the bench.

The staff’s secret weapon, Pantelis Vassilakis, chair of the Audio Arts and Acoustics Department and former player for the Greek National Volleyball team, wasn’t enough to follow up on a respectable 25-16 win in set two. Vassilakis was the staff’s star player, calling out instructions to the rest of the team and cheering them on when they scored.

Aldo Guzman, director of Student Engagement and the staff’s star server, was also a major force, giving the staff a four-point streak that opened set two, firing serve after serve at the student team.

“We played really well,” Guzman said. “We had a good team, but this time it went to the students. We’re looking forward to next year.”

The third set started off in the staff’s favor with an opening 5-point run, but Brady Hudson, captain of the volleyball team and sophomore theatre major, shut them down with several key spikes after the students took the lead 8-7.

A debated serve by Mark Kelly, vice president of Student Affairs, gave the staff a controversial point in set three, but that wasn’t enough to edge out the students, who defeated the staff 25-18 to win the match.

“It was a little rough because we couldn’t play our positions—we played all around, but we won so that can’t be too bad,” said Kate Parr, junior film and video major and member of the volleyball team.

Although they lost, the staff were gracious, smiling and high-fiving each other and the students as they walked off the court.

“[Columbia] students are getting better at everything,” Kelly said with a smile. “Now they’re even half-decent athletes!”