Rain Can't Dampen RBVL Enthusiasm
The RBVL shifted into high gear this week with some teams shifting into overdrive and others stuck in neutral. The day-long rain stopped just as the games began and players were treated to the best playing weather of the season.
That is, until the Wind from Hell came out of nowhere to wreak havoc on many of the fourth and fifth games played on the beach.
After the action was completed, the standings got even tighter with only pockets of separation showing here and there in the eight different divisions.
In one of the tightest races, the Ocean Breeze division will have some pivotal matchups with Flip-Cup All- Stars vs. Casino Auto Towing, Coppersmiths vs. Big Mahooshkas and (212) Bravest vs. Jamesons. It promises to be exciting. Look for a bundle of overtime games.
The Flip Cup All Stars met their toughest opponent yet in Jameson's. Jameson's blocked, spiked, and did not let balls drop all night, testing the division leaders in every game. In the end, the All Stars won 3-2 behind the MVP belt winning play of Brian Sica. While Trish stayed home to watch her boyfriend Joba Chamberlin pitch, Katie Salica was forced to play with blood pouring out of her big toe.
Thanks to some first aid by John Sica (because Cubby claims he has retired) and the good fortune of playing against the only team with a player who wore socks, she was able to play on. Salica played well while Trish did laundry on a broken machine and watched Joba.
Wordsmith John Sica came up with a new term for drooling over a Katie Salica set, "Salicating." Kenny, who dates Katie's sister Leigh Ann, has been Salicating since high school. Was John Salicating over her sets, or her set? Casino Tow went toe- to-toe (sorry- I invoke poetic license for that one) with The Bravest.
All the games were well played with Lauren Ganun and Charlie Brady pacing Casino to four victories. Lauren broke the Ganun family serving record with eight winning serves in a row. Her father, Frank, formerly held the record with one in a row. He set that in his 12th year of play with the legendary Abbracciamento's club. Craig Carey and the Johnson Brothers led the Bravest to a victory in the final game despite the Armageddon-like weather conditions.
The men of Last Call had their "A" Game on tonight, winning three games and proving that age is only a number. Simon Says Sea Bar took four games from the Bungalow Bar Flies.
The Bay House Babes want to welcome Ocean 12 to the league. They embody what the RBVL stands for - fun, camaraderie and sportsmanship.
Patty wants to let the Rockaway Breakers know they have competition. A new team, the Bad News Bears, led by Captain Gene, has been out socializing every week. The Bungalow Bar Flies better heed the threat. The Flies should never be underestimated because they still have the Piranha spirit.
The Harbor Light Brooklyn Transplants finally broke out their fish coolers filled with six 30-packs (of what?), but only pulled out three. Their newest addition, Boyhaney Jr., was a monster at the net. Anthony Capek came through with monster serves, on the court and at the cooler. This is indeed a special night; all three Brooklyn Transplant Teams have made it to Connolly's. Every baby sitter in Rockaway must be booked.
This week, rain and humidity brought out every member of Bar 13. Obviously they like a challenge. The comeback cats started off strong but lost their momentum towards the end of the evening. Don't worry though, true to style, they will be making another comeback next week, especially with the return of some wild 80's version of Tommy Kimball.
The MVP award was shared by all players with some special extra effort by Teeny Mags, who might just have mastered the knuckle punch. Press on CATS! Meow!
Connolly's got back on the winning track by taking four out of five from Healy's. In one of the games, Sean got a facial but got the ball back over the net.
This past Monday commemorated Cubby's last work day and his glorious entry into the world of retirement. Mr. O'Connor fashionably celebrated the occasion at Connolly's Monday evening with his favorite friends and cocktails.
At the same time, Cubby received a phone call from the St. Francis parish priest inviting him to celebrate his retirement with a mass on Tuesday morning at 9:30 with Cubby being asked to give the first reading. Unfortunately, Cubby failed to remember the next morning after checking his messages Monday night. He woke up slightly brain congested and went ahead and blew off the mass, only to remember it Wednesday night at volleyball. Confession awaits you, Cubby. Remember, retirement is great - you do nothing all day and then relax afterwards. And don't forget, Cubster, growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.
AVP volleyball professional AL-B Hannemann and his team will be doing a clinic on July 1 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The cost of $100 includes a T-shirt, ticket to the AVP at Coney Island and individual instruction. Both kids and adults are welcome. He will set up on Beach 127 Street. If you are interested, contact Debbie Sluyk, whose email address is das1461@ aol.com.
Space is limited so act quickly if you are going to attend. All signed rosters needed to be handed in this past Wednesday, June 24. Thirty-eight teams had taken care of this business. That sounds good until you do the math and realize that that leaves 22 teams delinquent. Your RBVL Committee is done chasing you down like runaway puppies. If we do not have your signed rosters, your team will start forfeiting games on July 1.
When the standings printed in The Wave do not match your personal score sheet, you'll know why. In case there's any doubt who is in jeopardy, here are the teams before play started Wednesday night: Freedhand's, Sugar Bowl, Sullivan and Galleshaw, Coppersmith's, Jameson's, Wharf Rats, Safe Sets, Sand Spikers, JG Electric, Kerry Hills, Blackwater, Boarders, Harbor Light Brooklyn Transplants, Sets on the Beach, Average Joes, A Night Out, Team Margarita, Bar 13 NYC, Bungalow Bar-anhas, Atlantic Service Sand Storm and EZ Company. Hopefully that list has shrunk by now.
Attendance hit another high point for the 2009 season at Connolly's, who happen to be a charter sponsor of the RBVL. That's right; they've been putting up money and putting out food as long as this organization has been around, which is longer than many of our players have been alive. Wow!
Now for the weekly review: It was a bit like the motion picture, the Good the Bad and the Ugly. The Good -- DJ Ryan P. McNamara had folks hopping with high energy music which moved many to dance in the aisles.
The bartenders were serving drinks fast and furious and the staff braved the elements and the big crowd to serve food and clear tables all night under tough conditions. The Bad - the food came out very late but the players were sure there would be plenty of burgers and dogs to come as in years past. The Ugly - That never happened.
Many players had to leave early just to get a bite to eat. Some were even treated to the Middle Eastern delight, Chicken Schwarma on the way home. The crowds will likely continue to grow as school ends Friday and the weather gets nicer. You're doing the league proud and making our long-time sponsors happy. We only have six more nights left so continue to kick it into high gear.
Next week the party is at the Bay House in Breezy Point. Just ask for a token at the security booth and make an immediate right down to the parking lot.
The Bay House is located on the water and has a beautiful outdoor deck as well as seating right on the beach. In years past they have had a live band performing waterside just for us. So come on down and take a look-see.
We are still fighting the birds and we still have some of you playing in "Siberia." Erin Walsh came up with a suggestion that will help a little bit and as you know, every little bit helps. Steve will load up the equipment cart with the five nets (and five shovels) used by the Boardwalk Division. This way they can be wheeled down the boardwalk and unloaded close to the actual court area.
Although Erin and the Irish Circle volunteered to do this, let's give it the old RBVL treatment and have the first two folks from the Boardwalk Division start the ball (or cart) rolling. That means you need to return your individual net after your match to the cart as well. Erin will make sure that everyone turns in their net and then get the cart back to the equipment room. Please do this as quickly as you can since Steve does need to load that cart up with other nets before he closes up shop.
Let's see if this helps us out until the birds leave.
For the nine out of ten teams who brought their nets back promptly, thanks for your cooperation and assistance. For the one squad that didn't (you know who you are), let's get with it next week. Your colleagues are going out of their way to help you (and me and all of us); let's support their efforts.
Closer to home base, the spacing and locations of the net set-ups has been terrific under very trying conditions. However, the timing needs to improve. We will be losing light each week and matches are going to conclude in the dark.
The refs are going to be instructed to start calling the forfeit of game 1 at 6:45 p.m. as the rules state. Get off the boardwalk and set up your net. Then you can talk and kibitz (and imbibe) all you want.
Keep those cards and letters coming with your referee critiques; your comments have been very helpful.
As always, if you have any questions please call Patty at 917-613-0908. (Be sure to call between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Remember, Patty has a life outside of VB, too.) Or just check our website at www.rbvl.com.
You'll find the answers to most of your questions there, not to mention pretty pictures and funny stories.
See you on the beach!