Pike Spike: Volleyball for a cause

Annual volleyball tournament more about benefiting a cause than winning.

On the chilly Saturday morning of September 30, the fraternity members of University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Pike got together for their annual philanthropy event, Pike Spike. Each year, they hold a sand volleyball tournament at Spikes Beach Bar and Grill. This year, the event benefited Voices of Hope, an organization that helps those who have experienced relationship violence, sexual assault and abuse.

Before the excitement of the tournament began, a representative from Voices of Hope thanked the fraternity for putting on the event to benefit their organization. As the crowd erupted in applause, a DJ began playing music and the tournament began. Over the sound of loud pop music, there was laughter, yelling and volleyballs flying across multiple courts.

Sophomore John Willey, was one of the fraternity members that had a team of players sign up to play in the tournament. Willey, along with his fraternity brothers and players in the tournament were bundled up in sweatshirts, pants and socks, which was not the ideal attire for sand volleyball, but the energy wouldn’t have been different even with the sun out. The sand was cold, but the players were ready to go. One of the participants on Wiley’s team, Victoria Bade, said “It’s a little cold, but we’re here for a good cause, and it’s still a ton of fun.”

Another player on Wiley’s team, Brianna Oehm, said she is extremely competitive from playing volleyball in highschool, and it was her goal to win the tournament. Although her team did not win, she said while shaking the sand out of her socks, “My favorite part is just watching everyone play and have a good time.” She said this was her first year participating in the tournament, and she plans on coming out again next year, hopefully with better weather.

Men in Pike have the option to sign a team up to participate in the six versus six tournament, and each player paid an initial $20 to sign up for the tournament. The players received yellow T-Shirts, that most threw on right over their sweatshirts, in an attempt to stay warm, and midway through the tournament, everyone enjoyed a nacho bar inside the warmth of Spikes Beach Bar and Grill. The rounds before everyone enjoyed nachos were more lighthearted, each team being allowed to play three games.

After everyone warmed up indoors, and enjoyed some food, the players took to the courts again for a single elimination showdown, in order to have a winning team. As the teams began to get eliminated, everyone remaining joined in to cheer on the other teams, watching the crowds get bigger on their side of the courts. After a team was eliminated everyone would cheer, and congratulate the winner, and then go on to cheer for the remaining teams.

“You can really sense the fun everyone is having here, no one really cares if they win or lose. It’s just a really good time,” Bade said.

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