Two sophomores form intramural volleyball club

Written By Beth Turnbull, Copy Editor

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Kacie Jo Brown and Emilee Fails, both sophomores on the JV volleyball team, wanted more time on the court than they’re currently getting, so they came together to create the Point Park Intramural Volleyball Club.

The sophomore advertising and public relations majors played volleyball through high school, and were looking for a way for students, athletes and non-athletes alike, to have the opportunity to play and practice together.

Students practice passing and serving for the first hour of the club’s practice, and then they scrimmage with each other for the remaining time.

“It’s not super demanding like a sports team would be,” Hannah Gauntner, a sophomore business management major from McCandless, Pa. said. “[Brown and Fails] are genuinely trying to help you learn the sport. It’s a lot more laid back, but you’re still actually playing.”

Brown grew up in Hurricane, W.Va., and Fails grew up in Erie, Pa. Both Brown and Fails have been playing volleyball for years.

“I’m on the JV Volleyball team but there aren’t many intramural clubs or organizations or anything like that for other students that want to play but aren’t in athletics here,” Brown said. “I know a lot of kids still want to play or just goof around.”

At the end of her freshman year at Point Park, Brown decided to try-out for the JV team.

“I’ve played sports my whole life, but volleyball has just been my favorite,” Brown said. “I love everything about it.”

It wasn’t always fun and games for Brown. During her freshman year of high school, she almost quit the game altogether.

“I wanted to quit my freshman year because of the coach, but my dad wouldn’t let me,” Brown said. “Without him, who knows where I’d be now.”

Now Brown is the one encouraging her fellow club members to work harder and never give up.

Brown and Fails started the process of forming the club at the end of September.

As a senator in United Student Government (USG), Brown was easily able to work through the process of getting the club instated. They had to draft a constitution for the club as well as by-laws, and other set rules. The club was approved in one week.

“Kacie Jo has been great, she’s very proactive,” Kate Shipley, SAIL advisor of the club, said. “She just showed herself to be very forward thinking, very determined and very decisive.”

No one from the athletic department is involved with the club. It is strictly student-run.

“On the JV team, we weren’t getting as much playing time as we liked, and there were a lot of people who wanted to play, a lot of guys were upset that they didn’t have the opportunity,” Fails said. “So we were like, let’s start a club team, and we can be in charge and play whenever we want and let anyone who wants to play get that chance.”

Point Park used to have intramural teams but made the decision to cut them in 2015. The volleyball club is the first intramural club to be started since then.

USG Treasurer and now treasurer of the volleyball club, Amedea Baldoni said that was part of the appeal when she became involved with the process.

“The purpose of this club is so everybody can participate in volleyball not based on gender, along with the not having to commit to playing a college sport,” Baldoni, a sophomore political science and legal studies double major from Rome, Italy said.

The club is a laid-back environment where all students, regardless of skill level or gender, are welcome to play.

“I don’t want students to feel like just because they don’t play volleyball, they can’t play,” Brown said. “Emilee and I are very willing to teach people that have not played and all the other kids are very open. Everyone is always laughing and having a good time. It’s not too serious.”

The club usually practices in the student center gym Monday from 6-8 p.m. but will occasionally practice on Fridays and Sundays depending on the availability of its members.

In the future the club hopes to become more organized, join a local league and play intramural teams from other universities like the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne.

“Definitely come to one of our practices and give it all you’ve got,” Brown said. “We’re not too serious but if you want to learn, we will teach you. It’s all fun, we just want everyone to get involved.”

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