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The Tale of the Signs

December 2, 2014

“Did you play volleyball?”

I’m 5’ 2.5”, but I get that question a lot. It’s the first thing people say to me when they find out I’m a big KU volleyball fan.

I know some volleyball players are under 5’ 3”, but I was not one of them. Instead, my KU volleyball fandom started as a happy accident – a very happy accident.

My friend freshman year played in the volleyball pep band, so I went to a match to support her the first weekend of September. And the next, and the next.

She ended her pep band career after freshman year, but my time as a Jayhawk volleyball fan had just ignited.

Over the next four years, I made signs, yelled ‘Point, KU,’ stood for set point and saw my ‘We Are Kansas’ sign (along with half my face) documented forever in Kansas volleyball history – in this year’s poster and magnet, on a wall in Horesji and on the sign outside the building.

The team my freshman year barely ended the season above .500 and had three conference wins. I watched them lose to Missouri at home in the last border war, but I was just impressed with the one set they won. Running to the match in the cold and rain was completely worth it.

Then, I saw them defeat Baylor on senior night to end the season. I watched that, and I knew I’d be back for more volleyball.

The next two years, I had the chance to see my team play in the NCAA tournament and watch one of the best senior classes in KU history play at the top of their game. And in a few days, I get to do it again.

I’ve been lucky these last four years. I fell in love with a team when it wasn’t great, then witnessed some of the best seasons in the school’s history.

People ask me why I’m such a big KU volleyball fan. I tell them it’s an outlet and just a fun sport to watch, but I can’t really articulate it. It’s just a team you want to root for, that’s proud to wear the crimson and blue (and yellow, on their shoes).

Going to those matches, holding up my sign and yelling… those are some of my favorite memories as a Jayhawk.

It’s a sport where the momentum can shift at any moment… where a team can be down 5-0 and come back to win the match. With no fouls, or plays under review, sets move fast. A team can go on a run, and in the next instant, hit 25 points. A single impressive dig or kill can change the match.

At KU, most attention goes to men’s basketball and football, but this week is the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. It’s survive and advance, lose and go home. KU is lucky enough to be a national seed and host the first and second rounds of the tournament.

It’s time to support the other sports in Jayhawk Nation. Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the ExpoCenter in Topeka. Let’s fill the Expo. Make it Horejsi West. Then, we can go back to basketball.

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From → Senior

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