EMPORIA, Kan. - This column is for you guys out their who love you football, love your baseball, love your basketball... heck I'll even let you love your NASCAR. But you might be that guy out their who's daughter has just decided she's in to volleyball. Now you have to go to all the matches... but volleyball's not like football, baseball or NASCAR.
To sell the sport short though would be a travesty. Volleyball can be very entertaining, very athletics and just plain fun to watch. Case in point tonight's match between #8 Emporia State and #7 Washburn. Their was never a dull moment in the match as the crowd of 2,156 looked on. You had story lines, athletes that put others shame and one of the best matches played in the nation.
Let's start with the story lines, if you haven't read about the Shepard Twins and their volleyball playing yet, you've missed out. Two time All-American Arica attends Emporia State while her sister Ashley decided on rival Washburn. The two have both helped keep their respective schools in the AVCA Top 25, and most week's in the top ten.
Coming into tonight the series was tied at 2-2 between the sisters, and Arica grabbed the slight edge with the Hornets 3-2 win. You also had two schools that have a rivalry so historic it's been dubbed the "Turnpike Tussle." And you have a lot of four year starters who have now played each other six times.
If the story lines weren't enough to draw you in, the action certainly would be. The players display both power and grace as they fly through the air and strike the ball with such force it pounds the ground on the other side of the net. Play is back and fourth, and unlike football and baseball, their aren't breaks between points and plays, as soon as one point is scored the other team has the ball and is serving again for a point.
I started attending volleyball matches when I was just 18 and a fresh faced collegian. And I realized I had an immediate love for the sport. It seemed to me like the fan actually mattered, you could create momentum for your team and effect the outcome. Plus you were right their, right next to the action. It really is a sport worth watching, just give it one chance, you won't regret it.