The men’s volleyball team may only have club status, but they still have competitions and feel the frustrations of not enough practice. Since volleyball is not currently an established varsity team, the team faces challenges getting practice time in the gym.
“We don’t get anything,” said first-year Jon Falcone, one of the members frustrated with the school’s attitude toward men’s volleyball.
If Eastern recognizes the club as a sport, Falcone said, the team may draw in more members and earn some respectability as a real sport.
Eastern does not post club sports on their athletics web page and Falcone feels that this hurts their recruitment potential.
“We don’t have enough interest or money to be varsity,” he added.
The team is in an intercollegiate league and competes in games. They were undefeated this season except for a loss in the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Volleyball Clubs. Most of the team spent a week in Kansas and Missouri competing in Nationals.
However, success is not what is needed to get the team regular practice times.
“We’re usually the last people to get gym time,” Falcone said.
“It’s frustrating never knowing when practice and games are because there’s not a schedule I can check when I can’t get in touch with the other guys on the team,” he said, mentioning another problem that comes with irregular practices.
The team also has trouble getting people to come out for volleyball because lack of gym time prevents many from going to practice.
Captain senior Dan Rice has to schedule practice time with the athletics department staff members like Jamie Nodine, department secretary.
“With the facilities we have it’s difficult to get the times they want, but I do my best to make sure everyone gets equality,” Nodine said.
“We can’t give them precedence over varsity teams because they are only a club sport.”
Scheduling is done first for in-season sports, then out of season sports and, finally for clubs, groups and non-varsity sports.
The clubs are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
“I’m trying to do the best I can with limited resources,” Nodine, said, adding that she does her best to schedule fair times for everyone.
Club sports usually end up with the undesirable practice times in the evening and on weekends. Nodine is appreciative of the volleyball team’s understanding.
“They’ve been very flexible,” she said, then added, “but we’ve done everything we can do.”