Images: Team Captain Maya
Columtreal Looter’s own Volleyball team, the Ballbusters, embarked on their journey to get a shot at climbing back to the 1st Division NCAA University Volleyball League. There is a long road ahead though as the team has been residing in the 3rd Division for a couple of years now. Some of the background was covered in our previous article here.
With the team under leadership of the young but ambitious student Maya Flores and with the support of the newly appointed Columtreal Dean, Carly Cox which has allowed talent recruitment of supporting coaching staff, this dream now has a chance of becoming a reality.
From 3rd division to the 2nd vs. the Monroe Warhawks
On December 2nd the team had their first challenge to overcome. They were facing Monroe University Warhawks, more famously known for their women’s beach volleyball team. Both teams were playing for a chance to advance into the 2nd Division. Demonstrating Looters team spirit, much of the CU campus came together to send them off with a wish of success.
The game started on a fairly even ground and would continue in the same spirit through a nerve wrecking 137 minutes of lead changes and long exchanges with neither of the teams willing to give the other team the initiative.
The first set eventually fell in favour for the Warhawks after a close game. In the second, it was the Ballbusters who were able to demonstrate grit and come back with a vengeance tying the match at one set apiece. Exploiting the slow rotations of the Ballbusters though, the Warhawks took over the third set, arming up for overall victory in the fourth. But it wasn’t to be and our home team came back strong with a much more effective use of their bench rotations which resulted in pushing the game to the final, fifth set.
With the bench rotation allowing the Columtreal’s champions to properly rest for a set, the fifth set was taken over by the Rachel Wesson, with Samantha Smith orchestrating and delivering several highlight plays and cementing the victory of the Ballbusters.
Congratulations to Columtreal University’s Volleyball for stepping up into Division 2!
Set results by numbers
Columtreal Ballbusters vs Monroe Warhawks
- Set 1: 21 – 25 (Warhawks)
- Set 2: 25 – 18 (Ball Busters)
- Set 3: 24 – 26 (Warhawks)
- Set 4: 25 – 21 (Ball Busters)
- Set 5: 15 – 13 (Ball Busters)
Challenging season opener – Alabama Huntsville Chargers
The first Division 2 match came up for the Columtreal University Ballbusters on 12th December and the draw was not an easy one. It pitted the team against the Alabama Huntsville Chargers; a team presently considered the second best team in the Gulf South volleyball conference. Huntsville University’s team has boosted its presence by continuous three year participation in the conference finals, enabling further veteran drafts into the ranks pushing the team up to possible season’s champions.
The league’s newbies from Columtreal stepped into the game with confidence, however the difference in experience made itself known as the first set amounted to 15-0 in favour of the Chargers before CU’s champions managed to land their first point. This however did not create any significant change in the direction as the Huntsville Chargers delivered literal spanking on a 25-5 win in the first set, clearly marking their dominance.
As the onset to the second episode of the game amounted to 11 points scored by Chargers before the first point was delivered by the Ballbusters, it was apparent the junior team was still trying to scramble any valid response to the onslaught and failing. Only by the end of the set the Columtreal team found their footing and pushed the set into a more even fight, ending on a win 25-16 for the Huntsville and still clearly signalling this may be a short three set fight only with a clear victor.
The third set brought in a surprising energy from the Columtreal’s team, as the squad opened with initiative and quickly pushed the Huntsville’s bench squad into defence on a favourable score of 11-3 for CU by a retaliation powered by the Flores-Wesson machine. This forced the Chargers to cycle in their first line again who despite their best effort were not able to stop the Ballbusters, ending in a nail biting win of CU squad in the third set by the margin of two.
As exciting as the comeback of the league’s newbie team looked in the third set, the fourth set revealed how taxing it was for the players as both CU’s lines were running out of breath and despite now working with strategic precision, the experience difference turned out to be impossible to overcome. The fourth set cemented Alabama Hunsville’s victory by the score of 25-19 in a four set game.
Set results by numbers
Columtreal Ballbusters vs Huntsville Chargers
- Set 1: 5 – 25 (Huntsville Chargers)
- Set 2: 16 – 25 (Huntsville Chargers)
- Set 3: 28 – 26 (Ball Busters)
- Set 4: 19 – 25 (Huntsville Chargers)
Just before we conclude, the Observer is delighted to announce that Rachel’s team clothing has been won by an ‘babykitten’. Your prize is winging it’s way to you, special delivery. If you are able to take a photo for the Observer with your new clothing, we’d love to feature you!