Enjoying the dog days

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Two teams entered the volleyball pits at Snyder Fields Tuesday night — one on the verge of park and rec league immortality, the other destined for a long offseason of what-ifs.

As the best-of-three match got underway between Chasers and Blake’s Body Shop in the Albert Lea Park and Recreation coed volleyball league championship single elimination tournament, it became apparent that Chasers would not go home without the plaque and championship T-shirts.

Chasers, a team comprised of captain Tara Sanden, Tony Hagen, Nick Hagen, Marie Juveland, Marae Cole and Monte Langfald, dominated the first game, winning 21-14 and putting Blake’s Auto Body against the wall.

Email newsletter signup

Blake’s Auto Body would not go quietly in the second game, jumping out to an early 10-7 lead and drew the game to overtime.

There would be no denying the freight train that was Chasers as it battled in overtime for a 23-21 victory.

“We knew the teams were going to be good,” Tony Hagen said. “Any of the top four teams could have won it. It was just whoever lucked out.”

While Chasers stood on top of the world, the rest of the 11 teams were left to pick up the pieces and assess what went wrong.

“We’re a bunch of rookies,” said Boxers captain Nick Hanke. “We’re watching film on Monday and we’re scouting players.”

The outcome of the championship wasn’t nearly as important as the time the players have been able to spend having fun with the league. The people who play in the coed league have thoroughly enjoyed the competition and the fellowship.

Henke works at Minnesota Corrugated Box and plays with co-workers in the league, offering the opportunity to unwind and have some fun after work.

Among the other teams were Perkins, a group of Perkins restaraunt employees, Albert Lea Medical Center, Krieger Beverage and three groups from local churches.

Melonie Miller, captain of the 4 Fellowship team, said she enjoys playing in the league because she has the opportunity to see her friends every Tuesday, and she has a lot of fun in the league.

The results weren’t really as important as the time the teams get to spend outside enjoying the sport and each other’s company.

There were so many players having a good time in the league that players are organizing Tuesday night pickup games for as long as the weather permits.