By James Nwankpah/ne news editor
SE Campus dethroned the defending champions to win the fourth annual TCC intermural 6-on-6 coed volleyball tournament championship Nov. 25.
The tournament is played by the best intermural teams from each of the individual five campuses. NE’s recreational volleyball club had won the tournament the past three years and sought to repeat history for a fourth time.
Of the four other campuses NE invited to participate, only South and SE made appearances. The tournament was set up in a round-robin format where all three teams would play each other. Afterward, the winner would be determined by the number of games won or points scored, if necessary.
NE lost its first match to SE Campus, 25-17, 25-22. Even though SE lacks an organized club like NE, it still displayed great chemistry.
“We play really well as a team, and we know how each other plays because we play so much at school as well,” said SE team captain Asja Whitmore.
NE volleyball club adviser Neal Dao said his team struggled.
“Because we are a recreational club, I am able to hand-pick good players that have played before in high school or outside of TCC,” Dao said. “But we just didn’t perform well today.”
The next match would see NE rebound and defeat South 22-25, 25-15, and 15-8.
In the final match, SE would need to get past a shorthanded South team to claim the trophy. The late arrival of the final three South players looked to be a problem for SE as they barely squeaked out the first victory of the match with a score of 26-24.
But thanks to big-time hits from players like James “J.J.” Luera, SE defeated South with a second game score of 25-19, thus making them undefeated on the afternoon and the new champions.
Even with the trophy well in hand, Luera still thought the SE team had some work to do.
“We could’ve done a better job at passing,” Luera said. “But still, I’m just happy to bring the trophy back home to SE.”
All campuses participate in intramural sports within their own student and faculty populations. But according to adviser Dao, not enough campuses are taking advantage of the intercampus tournament.
“It’s something that I wish more people knew about,” Dao said. “As of right now, we are the only campus that has a recreational club. But if teams like South had someone in charge over there, they would have a great team. They already have good players.”
Dao has been the NE volleyball team adviser the past four years and has coordinated the intercampus tournaments each time. And from the sounds of things, it doesn’t look like things will slow down any time soon.
“As long as Neal Dao is around, there will always be a TCC intermural championship,” he said.