Cheerful dilemma

January 30th, 2010


There is a nice problem developing at Warrior volleyball matches.

The fans are starting to make noise. Last night, three showed up in costume. BowZos II? They heckled UC Irvine players, from their John Stockton-length shorts to opposite attacker Carson Clark's membership in the Taylor Swift Fan Club.

Thing is, the UH cheerleaders are leading their own cheers.

And when the two sides are doing their thing at the same time, it can get confusing. Heckles and cheers aren't always in sync.

Still, it's a nice switch from the polite — and hushed — crowds of recent seasons.


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Jonas Umlauft is the real deal.

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Baton twirler Shannon Dresser also is amazing:


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• Middle blocker Steven Grgas will undergo further tests to determine the extent of what is believed to be a hand fracture. He could be out for several weeks.

• Libero Ric Cervantes gamely returned to play in the fifth set despite an injury to his right achilles. He vowed to play tonight.

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While I think volleyball is exciting, here are some ways to make it better:

• To slow an opponent's momentum, teams will try delay tactics such as asking for "sweat" spots to be wiped on the court. Solution? Dry mops. Then it's sweep-sweep, and in two seconds everybody is ready to play again.

• Hey, I'm 49, wear tri-focals and struggle to read newspaper agate. Which brings us to the volleyball refs who are older than me. The men's game is too fast. So why not use television replays if they're available. I know the Stan Sheriff Center is one of the few venues where volleyball is televised, but, so what? Life's not fair. But it's better than refs missing struck antennas or making calls based on how a team celebrates or protests.

* Is it possible for announcer Billy V to read the sponsors' names, oh, eight fewer times each match. Nothing like a team being forced to call a timeout to slow the frenzy only to hear the list of sponsors. I'm pretty sure the ads plastered around the arena are an indication of which companies are forking over money.

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What's more surprising: That Saints fan Rob DeMello named his cat "Louisiana" or that he owns a cat?


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