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RBVL Opening Night at Riis Park

      By Rocky D.     5/30/08 

      The 2008 Rockaway Beach Volleyball season got its 19th season underway on Wednesday night under near perfect conditions at Riis Park.   The sun was shining, the full moon was on the horizon but as usual the ocean winds were blowing.   It was the biggest start ever in the history of the league as 56 teams set up 28 nets on the beach.  No more excuses!  Game on!  On last week’s practice night the refrain across the beach was, “I know I missed it but it doesn’t count anyway.”  Thus spoke Zarathustra.  As is usual for opening night, the wind was whipping at gale force (no relation to Gale Storm) speed. 

The RBVL gang at Healy’s

      There were teams moving up a division, teams moving down, and new teams joining the greatest social event of the Rockaway Summer.  Bar 13 NYC brought their “A” game.  They had high spirits and showed good potential.  They meshed well as a unit and practiced sound fundamentals. The team is looking forward to a great season and everyone attended.  Kaitie Defonzo and Tommy Kimball would like to say they were the MVP’s but captain Corny (Skip) Donohue was really leading the team.  Sands Point won the first game and was heading for a sweep until Jameson’s ruined the shutout by winning the next four.  Kaitlin Touhey brought some young blood, Jessica Childert, to the team but it was not enough.  Maybe they can call the Red Cross for some kegs of plasma.  It appears Sands Point is two beers short of a six-pack of being a good team.  Thanks again to Tim for his generous sponsorship.

Two men in search of a volleyball game (Dickie and Murph)

      The party at Healy’s was rocking and rolling (rock).  BBQ burgers, dogs and terrific chicken Kabobs along with plenty of salads, set the bar pretty high.  The next bar owner may need platform shoes to reach that bar.  Good food and plenty of it.  Nice job, Tommy Jr.  That makes two nights and two great parties.  Keep up the good work, sponsors.  It was good to see the refs at Healy’s, at least until they finished eating.  After the last bite, they run out the bar like a bunch of moonshiners fleeing a Federal raid.   They are heretofore known as the eat-and-run refs.  In their defense I must attest that Tony Carty did buy a round of drinks.  Yes, that Tony Carty!  Someone call Ripley’s Believe it or not.   That squarely puts the pressure on fellow ref, Coach, to step up and buy a round or two (or three). 

Grill Men, and what a grill it was

      The Bay House Babes had a fun night against It’s All Good Tees, although they lost 2-3.  Patty wishes she could play them every week just because of their great music (and great people, too). Chris Dean brought her “A” game but unfortunately the rest of the Babes brought their “F” game.  Thanks to the Rockaway Breakers who set up several nets, more out of confusion than helpfulness.  Congratulations to Erin Walsh who just recently got married.  Let’s see how this affects her game.  Connolly’s pulled the semi-sweep by taking four from the Irish Circle thanks to John Brennan’s group hug.  Where were Erin and Bonnie?  Most likely home licking their wounds.   Thanks to founding father and long-time sponsors, Jeff and Kerri -Ann.  It appears Captain Steve (Mr. Happy) has stacked the team with ringers. Could they be dead ringers?  Tommy Dalgish pulled the first trifecta of the season - softball in the morning, golf in the afternoon and volleyball at night.  Doesn’t he know he is forty years old?  A veritable yute.  Hint :( My Cousin Vinny)  It was noticed that not only can Jimmy Hayden run well outside but does a pretty darn good job running up to the bar. 


      Casino Tow, the most senior team in the league, took on the young guns of Flip-Cup All-Stars.  Fortunately, they lowered their average age by ten years by bringing young Kathleen McCarthy and Lauren Ganun to the beach.  Their youth and vigor, as well as setting, bumping and serving led Casino to a 4-1 win.  Joe Abbracciamento really nailed a serve in game 3.  It wasn’t anything special but he did step on a 6-inch rusty nail.  In the same game the new court alignment brought Joe and Dickie “Earthquake” Flanagan back-to-back as they simultaneously jump-served their opponents.  The earth rumbled and a 6.5 aftershock was felt in China.  Katie Salica showed great stamina and poise in some closely contested matches.  TBG was interested to read a story in Sports Illustrated where Charles Barkley condemned excessive drinking.  TBG took the article to heart and gave up reading!  Club Fed all showed up and were ready to go.  However, both Greg and Brian had twins in early 2008 and will be a bit busy during this season.   The match featured close games and a lot of rust from all players.  It was good to see the Careys playing side-by-side; they make lovely teammates.  And they won 3-2.  Mary is still sandwiched between George and Danny in the rotation and it appears she likes it that way, if you know what I mean.

He needs another hand.

      Last Call won 3-2 despite its early navigational problems. Big Brown played despite a busted hoof and played great as usual.   MacGyver’s serve was great but he needs a Global Positioning System.  The blond bombshell was MVP in game (according to the blond bombshell). The beer babe challenges Bar 13 NYC to a throw-down match with the loser doing ball room dancing on the boardwalk France D. might have to dance with them because he is a no-show.  There was a Simon sighting at the bar. Donde es Patty?   Simon Says Sea Bar gives credit to Sons of Beaches who had no practice and still dominated the match.  Where was Mrs. Shanahan? (Kevin) Probably at Lamaze.  A Night Out played Average Joes and had fun but the cold weather caused some embarrassing shrinkage.  Jen was serving like a veteran bartender - 12 in a row.  Ann Marie, AKA the new girl, played well despite stage fright.  The team would like to thank Robin Shapiro for sponsoring them again; they promise to do better this year.  However they already lost two games to E-Z Nights.  Joanne has to learn to hit the ball up, not down.  Pat, try hitting it over the net.  It helps the team more.  Denise would like to remind everyone to be nice to their refs.  Remember they are the ones on line in front of you for the food.  Becky, of the Cheese Fries, states that Tom Malloy is the best player on the entire/whole team. . He is   also the only player on the team.

      Note:  If there is an extra piece of equipment in the volleyball bag please don’t put it back in the bag at the end of the night.  Put it aside and give it to one of the “equipment specialists,” Rocky or Steve or just bring it to the room.  The early feedback about the new referees was positive and the same could be said about this year’s three important rules:

1. ALL net violations must be called – no exceptions

2. NO underhand lift or reverse underhand throws are allowed.  (The only exception is on a hard-driven ball.)

3. NO reaching over the net to interfere with a ball unless your opponent is directing the ball to your side of the court.

Keep up the good work throughout the entire season.  As always, if you have any questions during the week, please call Patty Moule at 917-613-0908.  (Be sure to call between 10 AM and 9 PM.)  Or just check our website at www.rbvl.com.  You'll find the answers to most of your questions there, not to mention pretty pictures and funny stories.

See you on the beach!