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Volleyball Eclipses Lunar Eclipse

By John Sica   6/17/11 

A rare lunar eclipse took place Wednesday night and it offered a picturesque backdrop for a perfect night of beach volleyball for the Rockaway Beach Volleyball League.  Great spikes and digs were everywhere but there were many flubbed and missed shots, too.  Unfortunately, no one could use the wind as an excuse because there was no wind at all.  Connolly’s took four from Oceans Twelve behind the all around great play of their ringer Grace.  Steve this year has made the best play of his volleyball career, stealing Grace Kelly Leahy from Fred Astiar to elevate his team to new heights.  Whenever Debbie, Mrs. Happy, is there, Mr Happy expects the team to clap whenever he touches the ball so she thinks he did something good.   It’s kind of like an applause sign.  She must be proud.  No one else is.  They didn’t see the applause sign.  The Atlantic Service Sandsharks kept it rolling this week even though they were shorthanded without the Ryan brothers.  However, Team A.S.S. was anchored by the ladies - Reba, Rhonda, Carolyn, Alexis and Ro.  A Night Out's Captain Gerri Walsh was driven to Patty’s Porch (not Kirby’s Corner nor the Cubby Hole) by Cathy Marquatt just to hand in her roster.  What style - "Driving Miss Gerri!”  Heal quickly; Your RBVL Family miss you on the court.  “Dear George Johnson & Cabanas – Stay away from our court.  We don’t want no stinking Cabanas.” – signed Bogatell Vino.

John McHale Jr. was considered to represent Xaverian HS in a CHSAA “All Star” team in the AAU National Championships in Orlando Florida.  Unfortunately, he could not receive an official “waiver” from Breakers team captain (his mom), Colleen McHale.  Fortunately, the RBVL and Xaverian HS will be represented in the Nationals by Alex Moule from “Off the Net.”  We hope that the Clippers captain will represent the league and his High School with distinction.  No doubt he will.  Speaking of how our young players are excelling in NY high schools, it is a testament to what has happened over the last 30 years with volleyball in Rockaway.  What started with a few friends playing on the beach, and then organizing into a league in the 1980’s on the beach has grown generation after generation into developing our youth into the best players in the city.  Who knew so much fun could lead to so much success.  Back to “Off the Net.”  They took 3 from the Blackwater Boarders in a tightly played match.  Alex had a string of jump serves in game two to put that game away.  Blackwater was inspired by the return of Christine DeVille V, who was working on her game in the former Soviet Union.  She showed no signs of “Rus” as she played well all night.  Dylan Smith was showing off his age as he dove all over the beach to save many balls from both teams.  Speaking of DeVille, Christine’s twin sister, Kerry, had a similar result in her match with the Flip Cup All Stars, also losing 2 to 3.  The Flip Cups were inspired by their new mascot Maeve Murphy who at three months was preparing for the 2027 All Star team.  Mike Gambino reloaded his gun numerous times to spike the ball over Tommy Dags and the crew.  The only bummer for the All Stars was the absence of Mikey, who was last seen at Kennedy airport on a recruiting mission to San Diego to get his sister Trish back.   

Captains were required to submit SIGNED rosters by Wednesday night.  Many of the teams came through big time but some did not.  If you did not hand in a signed roster, you need to get it to Patty or Denise by Sunday at midnight.  Otherwise, you will play next week and bump, dig and spike to your heart’s content.  However, you will look at the standings and see zero points added to your team’s total.  All of your games will be forfeited.  Remember when the RBVL Committee told you that this is the one chore they really hate to follow up on.  They meant it.  Congratulations to Rockaway Beach Digital Design, who were the last team to pick up their uniforms.  They nosed out the Sugar Bowl by about 15 minutes.  Thanks again to Bud Light who are sponsoring the RBVL this season.  They were generous with a contribution toward the uniform costs and it is nice to see the many revelers throwing back Buds and Bud Lights at the bars after the games.  Some leagues might ask their players to support the sponsor but you guys don’t need anyone to ask you to do that.  You do it on your own.  Keep up the good work.  The Blackwater was a gracious host and attendance was only fair but very lively.  The Baranhas kicked things up a notch and you can tell the season is heating up.  Rusty who?  The Blackwater provided plenty of great basic food – pizza, baked ziti, salads and 6-foot heroes.  What more could a sweaty volleyballer want?  They are always one of the best rocking bars with a great sound system and great selection of tunes.  Plus having Katey behind the bar was an added bonus.   

TBG ran It’s All Good Tees in Bugsy’s absence in week one and the result was a 5-0 sweep.  Bugsy returned to run the squad for weeks two and three and brought home two wins each night.  Do the math – Murph 1 week, 5 wins, Bugsy 2 weeks, 4 wins.  Is there trouble in paradise?  Mark your calendar for a night out at the Harbor Light next week.  Last Call was lost in a fog of self doubt without the steady hand of their Captain at the helm this week.  Despite the heroic efforts of many of the old hands the ship went down.  The Blond Bombshell kept up the defense though and let go with a salvo or two that rocked the ship.  Air Steinberg was back and in his usual good form as was Dan the man.  The Surfer Girl showed how to shred it and Kate the Great has really got game. And Greg's got Kate.  But all that was to no avail.  Well what to do?  Word is the floggings will continue until morale improves.  

wheer the f#@$ am I

U Got Served or U got Sirg, salvaged two after a horrendous start to Sets On The Beach.  Then Tommy Boggiano made them Army strong.   Ellen Cashen saved one game with her Mariano like serves to take game five.  Blowing their own horn, Sirg set Skoff for the game ending spike.  Mick failed to show up for the final two games after flexing his muscles in the first three.  U is looking forward to the rematch.  Sands Point is going to need some serious Mental and Physical therapy after the 0-5 beating they took from Sal’s Auto.  Sands Point was impressed with Jake’s supersonic fast serves.  Unfortunately, most of them were out.  Someone should tell Jake to serve underhand already.  If they keep Jess in the lineup though, the future will be bright.  Team Margarita won only two because Jamie is milking his injury because he’s in a contract year.  Sliding into home against a girl cost him a few weeks.   Maybe he should have slid into Buster Posey.  Get well soon, we love you.  The team needs you.  Bryan’s Auto Accelerators, with help from TJ’s replacement of dead wood on the team, Neil serving, and Mary and Katlin setting, carried the old men to four wins.  Thirteen and two on the season and getting better.  They are looking forward to showing the third division call-ups how the game is played in the second division in the next two weeks.  Next week the Federation will be looking forward to avenge old playoff losses to the Accelerators.  The Federation played the powerhouse Dig This.  The DT young powerful slammers threw everything at the Federation, spiking continuously.  However, Tommy, George, Brian, Ryan, and Greg were soaring over the net to block them and took four.  In game four, DT was up 20-15 but their inexperience cost them as the Federation rallied to win.  Danielle Ford came back from Bonaroo in Kentucky and the Come Back Cats enjoyed their first five rock this season.  For those who don’t know, a five rock is a five and oh week.  Five rock.  It’s good that they have Jimmy Hayden back with them, and they are looking forward to moving closer to first place next week. 

Many of our new refs are a bit reluctant to call “carries” and “nets.”  I don’t know why; it’s just part of the game.  For those players who think that this results in too many whistles and say, “We just want to play,” remember, we all just want to play - - - volleyball!  Not jungle ball!  Plus, when the playoffs come around you will be shocked at how many more violations are called.  Our new refs, some of whom are learning on the job, are all trying their best to call the games fairly.  Believe me, they do not have an ax to grind with any of our teams and we need you to treat them with respect.  As always, if you have any questions please call Patty at 917-613-0908.  (Be sure to call between 10 AM and 9 PM.  Remember, Patty has a life outside of VB, too.)  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!