T-Birds past and present square off
Ten teams vie for bragging rights at Sept. 23 R.F. Staples Alumni Volleyball Tournament
Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 06:00 am
Experience (mostly) won out over youth at the annual R.F. Staples Alumni Volleyball Tournament Sept. 23, which brought together eight teams of former T-Birds to play against the current squads.
The tourney consisted of a round robin, with the top four teams on both sides advancing to the finals. Notably, both of the current R.F. Staples teams were eliminated in the playoffs.
In the women’s final, Rilayna Pidsadowski’s squad — made up of players who graduated from R.F. Staples all the way from 1997 to 2005 — ended up defeating Kristin Jensen’s team.
Pidsadowski said they literally pulled together their team on Thursday, adding that some of them hadn’t played volleyball in up to eight years.
She thanked the organizers for letting them into the tournament so late, adding it was nice to bring the group together.
Jensen, whose team was made up of 2014 graduates, said it was good to get her team back together, though she did take away one hard lesson.
“I learned I have to hit the gym,” she joked.
On the men’s side, Doug Sereda’s team of 2011 graduates defeated Kyle Beattie’s team of 2001-2004 alumni.
Kieran Murphy, who played on Sereda’s squad, said this was one of the complete team reunions they’d had in a while.
Notably, their team had won the tournament four years running. This year, the competition gave them a bit more trouble than they were used to, but “it was still a lot of fun,” said Murphy.
Other alumni didn’t make it as far as the finals but nonetheless had a lot of fun.
Amelia Kulmatyski, who graduated in 2014, noted she had school all this week, but joined in when her team captain heard about the event and sent out invitations to her old teammates
“It’s always fun to come back to high school,” she said.
The event brought out many families, including children who watched their parents play from the sidelines.
Brother and sister Leland Pall and Jessica Hoover competed on different teams in the tournament, though Pall’s team went to the finals.
However, Hoover indicated she had a good time
“It’s fun to see everybody and to reconnect,” she said.