Some spring intramurals started April 5 for Iowa State students. Among those intramurals, coed sand volleyball turned out to be a particular favorite.
According to Iowa State Recreation Services, 292 teams signed up to play at Iowa State’s six new sand volleyball courts located across from Jack Trice Stadium. The courts were renovated in the fall of 2020.
Due to the amount of teams that signed up, Rec Services could only allow for one preliminary game before going right into tournament play.
Marina Ruppel, a junior majoring in graphic design who is currently on one of the sand volleyball teams, said it was amazing to see how many teams signed up to play.
“Last year was tough with COVID-19, so it’s so great that we are finally able to play against each other. It makes it easier that it isn’t a contact sport, so we have more flexibility with what we can do,” Ruppel said.
Ruppel said she is excited to finally be able to play on the sand volleyball courts that were renovated last fall.
“I played on Tuesday night and the courts were amazing. There’s so much light that we were playing at 11 p.m. and could see just fine. I can’t wait to go back and play again next week,” Ruppel said.
To be considered a coed team, students must have a minimum of three players. Of those three players, there needs to be at least one player of the opposite gender to the other two.
Anna Ahrenholtz, a sophomore majoring in kinesiology and health, said that while the minimum requirement is three people, she created a team with five of her friends.
“It’s been so fun getting to reconnect with some of my friends who I don’t see as much. We had so much fun Monday night and went out to eat after,” Ahrenholtz said.
During each of the games, students are not required to wear a mask while playing because all of the courts are outside.
When asked how she felt about playing without masks, Ahrenholtz said she felt more comfortable playing outside where there was more space.
“It’s nice because it’s easier to breathe,” Ahrenholtz said. “When I played intramural indoor volleyball in February, I understood that it was necessary to wear the masks, but it was harder to breathe and I had to keep pulling it up.”
Makendri Zieser, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said she wished Iowa State Rec Services allowed for more regular games before starting tournament play.
“I know that because there are so many teams out for sand volleyball, Rec Services can only allow for one regular game before the tournament. It’s sad because there’s a possibility that most teams will only get to play two games,” Zieser said.
However, Zieser did say she is excited to play in the tournament because she believes her team will go far.
“I know that there are a lot of teams in this tournament, but I believe that we have a pretty good shot of making into the top 25,” Zieser said.