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The shack was once again packed. Photo: Ian Vansegbrook.

Trent Varsity Volleyball Teams Go "Balls Deep" in First Games of 2024

Written by
Ian Vansegbrook
and
and
January 22, 2024
Trent Varsity Volleyball Teams Go "Balls Deep" in First Games of 2024
The shack was once again packed. Photo: Ian Vansegbrook.

This edition of Arthur’s continuing coverage of Trent’s varsity Volleyball team will be covering the games held on the 12th and 13th of January, the outcomes and play-by-play, as well as delving into the strange world of Volleyball terminology, and covering yet another player’s post game meal. The most recent games were an oddity, as usually, Trent plays against the same school with both teams, but due to scheduling, we had the women’s team going up against Windsor, and the men’s team against Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU).

Trent Varsity Volleyball is an underdog team which makes up for its lack of funding with a dogged determination. One of the youngest Volleyball teams in the league, it continues to be one filled with personality. After the rather unfortunate scheduling of going up against most of the best teams in the league in the previous semester, we’ve come through hardened, ready to show our mettle.

We did not win. But we did great. The stands were filled with supporters, including willing members from the Rugby teams. The women’s team, freshly replete with their players coming off of injury, played well. With a promising start on their first game of the season, which was the 6th of January, they took a set off of Lakehead. With all their players coming back onto the court, they haven’t quite hit their stride yet. They performed well, and I’m sure that as the season progresses, they will make every game competitive. 

Spoken to for comment before the game, associate coach Rebecca “Beck” Van Staalduinen of the women’s team said that she was “excited to have almost everyone back”. Due to the low manpower, the team was forced to move players from their traditional positions to fill in the gaps. 

This feeling of excitement was mimicked by the rest of the team, including team captain “Izz” Pellerine. Justine Colambot, one of the players coming off injury, spoke of the mental difficulty of coming back, getting used to the practices and being ready for the games. 

The men’s team brought a similar sentiment with them. Aly Sadam, star setter, wryly commented “We haven’t lost a game this year” (this being their first game of 2024). Baxter Scholberg (insecure about his height) said “The team is pogging,” before trying to convince me to call him the tallest player on the team in the paper. 

The men’s team had, in what I would consider my semi-professional opinion, an amazing set of games. Their first game was a proper barn burner (see the list of terms below), tragically ending with a 2-2 tiebreaker of 15-13, in favour of TMU. Despite the finish line loss, the team remains optimistic, and considers their oh-so-near win as a showing of what they are capable of. 

Volleyball is a strange sport, with many cultured terms and sayings to orate with. For those who are considering getting into Volleyball, and supporting our magnificent teams, but are somewhat daunted by their foreign customs, I have put together this list, to help acclimatize to this most noble sport. Most of these coontributions are primarily from the men’s team, with the last third and second being directly from the women’s team.

Ian Vansegbrook’s Glossary of Volleyball Terms:

  • Shag verb: To collect stray balls during practice. Ex. “Need a hand shagging all of those balls?”
  • Fister noun: Hitting the ball with a closed fist. Ex. “Wow, that was a real fister.”
  • Pipe verb: Outside hits a ball out of the middle of the backrow. Ex. “Pipe me hard!”
  • Goo, Dish the verb: When a setter is doing well. Ex. “Aly is dishing the goo.”
  • Dick Ball noun: When the attacker hits the ball really hard and it goes way out of bounds. Ex. “That was a real dick ball.”
  • Shit Slam verb: When you get a really good block. Ex. “I just got shit slammed.”
  • Barn Burner noun: A somewhat serious/joking term for a big game, usually a 5 set match. Ex. “You should’ve seen it, that was a real barn burner.”
  • Piss Missile noun: A really hard-hitting serve. Ex. “Watch out, he’s firing off a piss missile.”
  • Jumbo Shrimp: When you hit a roll shot over the defender and it lands in the court. Ex. “Damn, they got a jumbo shrimp on me.”
  • Balls Deep adjective: When on serve receive, and you believe the serve is going deep into the court. A particular favorite of the women’s team, who will shout this out. Ex. “Watch out, she’s going balls deep!”.
  • Pound Town noun: Hitting a good ball. Ex. “I’m ready to go to pound town.” Or alternatively (from an anonymous source) “Sydney sent me to pound town.”
  • Facial noun: A legacy term that is no longer in common usage. When someone receives a spike to the face. Ex. “Ouch, that guy just got a facial.”

Thanks again to all the varsity athletes who helped compile the list.

I also took to the stands during the games for some hard-hitting interviews, quizzing fans, parents and partners on their understanding of Volleyball jargon. You can find these exclusive recordings at Radio Free Arthur, our beloved and esteemed editors’ weekly radio show and/or podcast.

In additional news, in what is becoming a worrisome pattern, I was once again cornered and forced to write one of the women’s teams’ post-game meals. This time from Sydney MacLellan (who is not sponsored). She raves of a downtown burger joint called Gertie’s. She gets a burger with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, cheese and pickles, with a side of sweet potato fries and a sprite. 

The 2024 leg of the varsity Volleyball season is sure to be a spectacle. Both teams believe that “every team is winnable” as one player on the men’s team suggested. Their upcoming home game on February 2nd will be a “White Out” game, where attendants are encouraged to wear white clothing. As the months grow colder, and the games heat up, everyone is encouraged to show up and fan the flames. 

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