The men’s division consisted of four teams – 2014 Men’s Vball Champs, Tennis Squad, Hit it and Quit It and Turdburglars. Hit It and Quit It and 2014 Men’s Vball Champs advanced into the semifinals. 2014 Men’s Vball Champs won, but Hit It and Quit It won its next game in the loser’s bracket. This brought the team back into the winner’s bracket to re-challenge 2014 Men’s Vball Champs. However, the team fell short and the reigning 2014 Men’s Vball Champs took the crown again.
Seven teams participated in the co-ed division. In the semifinals of the loser’s bracket, Ball Touchers challenged 1-2 Kill. Ball Touchers led to start the game and continued its streak, winning the game, 26-24.
In the championship match, Ball Touchers faced off against the undefeated, Empire Strikes Back, that had bumped it into the loser’s bracket earlier in the tournament. Ball Touchers needed to beat Empire Strikes Back in back-to-back games to win the tournament.
The finals was a very competitive atmosphere, but not just because the winner would receive a championship T-shirt. Both teams were familiar with each other, as they consisted of club volleyball members from the men’s and women’s teams. Winning, in this case, was not only for the love of the sport, but also for bragging rights.
The finals were almost neck-in-neck until Ball Touchers broke away at the end. Empire Strikes Back faced miscommunication issues during those last few points, and Ball Touchers took advantage of the opportunity. The game ended with a kill from the outside, ending the game, 25-19.
Because Ball Touchers had previously lost to the Empire Strikes Back, the team needed a second win to be crowned champions. At the same time, this gave Empire Strikes Back the opportunity for a second attempt at victory.
In the second finals match, Ball Touchers started strong. Justus Stahrr was a standout player of the game, contributing three kills in the beginning of the game to propel his team forward. Having won earlier in the men’s tournament alongside his teammate, Ryan Rankin, he was ready to win another championship. Kristin Smith of Ball Touchers also tipped a ball to the middle of the court for another kill. Nicole Wenke gained a point for Ball Touchers with her topspin jump serve, bringing the score to 15-9.
Empire Strikes Back climbed its way up to tie the score at 19. Mary Lenhart had a serving run, followed by Anna Tarantino with a tip over Stahrr’s block for a kill.
Stahrr came back strong with a kill, which was followed by a kill from Wenke. Ball Touchers set Stahrr again, and he delivered another kill to bring the score to 23-22. At game point, Stahrr had a kill off of Marissa Smith’s block, bringing Ball Touchers to victory.
“It was definitely a relief to win the championship after a long day of volleyball,” Stahrr said. “I have to give credit to my teammates for rallying after the loss to win the loser’s bracket, and ultimately beat Empire Spikes Back in two consecutive games to take the championship.”