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RBVL Leaders Battle                  By Joe McGivney       7/1/11

more pictures below, and more to come

The weather was perfect for the 5th straight week of volleyball action at Riis Park and RBVL players are wondering when the tornadoes and hurricanes will finally hit.  In the Ocean Breeze Division, the top two teams squared off with Bryan’s Auto Accelerators sweeping JG Electric 5-0 while in the Wave Division the top two produced another shutout with the Wharf Rats taking down The Mighty Boosh.  And in the Moon Division the second place Odd Couples romped 4-1 over the previous leaders, the White Horse Tavern.  That’s a lot of wild scores for closely matched teams.  Look for more of that as the season heads toward the mid-point.  Captain Elaine from the Breakaways carries the team with her aggressive play and while doing that Wednesday she received a tremendous injury by getting elbowed in the face.  However, she inspired her teammates to a 4-1 win over Rathbones and next week insists on wearing bubble wrap for protection.  The shiner on her right eye was a doozy but she handled it well by placing an ice cold bottle of beer on the wound in between sips.  That ingenuity is what makes her captain material.  Casino Towing set a league record when Lauren Ganun substituted for Joe Abbracciamento in game 5.  The team gained 40 years of youth in that one change.  (Not to mention a better bumper, setter and spiker but not server.)  Nancy Gentile took care of this week’s cub reporter with a perfectly cooked and perfectly timed hamburger.  Food always helps the creative process run smoother.  Mikey Sica came back from San Diego after visiting his sister but Trish the Dish stayed on the West Coast.   

Connolly’s only won two games against the Blackwater Boarders but they won game 5 and that is critical when you are the host bar.  Everyone arrives in an upbeat mood.  Even Mrs. Happy was out supporting her sponsor.  (And she’s not even on the team.)  And you know we like her more than Mr. Happy.  The Bungalow Baranhas won 3-2 over Robin Shapiro Realty Island and sipped rainbow drinks and played Twister just to have even more fun than a regular volleyball game.  Happy birthday, Vinny.  Last Call can’t be first every week but they still get mentioned for knocking off the first place team, the Rockaway Breakers 3-2.  The Breakers played well and were led by Colleen, Noreen, Theresa, Kevin, Older John, Younger John, Robert, Catherine and Matt.  I think that’s everyone of importance.  The last place Notorious B.I.G.’s beat the first place Sal’s Auto 3-2.  They are making their playoff push early.  Welcome back, Shane.  Chad, the proud sponsor of Bogatell Vino, showed up to see what kind of team he was backing and the pressure was felt by all of the players.  Unfortunately, they dropped 4 games; fortunately, Rene singlehandedly won one game for the squad.  And even more fortunately, Bogatell supplied wine to Connolly’s for the night’s festivities.  Now that’s a sponsor.  And the drinkers loved it.  And President Patty missed the matches because she was in Atlanta at the U-13 National Championships.  We await the results.  But at least that’s a legitimate absence excuse.  The Monday night games at the 127th Street Thunder Dome have also enjoyed perfect weather without the pressure and high tension of Wednesdays.  Referees, make sure you get your e-mail address into the league ASAP so you can receive important notices.  Which RBVL Committee member was out the latest at Connolly’s?  Here’s a hint – D_nise B_unner.  And the Land Sharks have won exactly two games each week for 5 weeks; that’s not easy to do. 

A late breaking story was missed in last week’s article.  A lovely (unnamed) volleyball couple had the nerve to fill up two plates of food at the Harbor Light, walk out the front door and eat their dinner in their car.  Now we don’t ask much but how about buying a beer or two to help offset the costs our generous sponsors incur.  Even our referees enjoy a beer with their meals!  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.  You are on a gold medal pace in beer consumption.   Keep up the good work.  During the off-season, the RBVL lost a longtime supporter when Kirby passed away.  It was ironic that the last words he read in the Wave were, “Kirby, period.”  Well this week many of his old friends and volleyball colleagues are going to gather at the flagpole at the top of the stairs after the matches for a brief salute and toast to the legend.  Stop by for a moment and hoist a cold one in honor of one of our finest – Kirby, period! 

The reason the RBVL requires signed rosters is so that every team plays with eligible and legitimate players each week.  No team may pull players from the sideline when they are short.  No opposing captain can approve that.  No referee can approve that.  You may think it’s fair to your two teams but it is not fair to all of the other teams that abide by the rules.  Why don’t you have a couple of spouses on your active roster who only play when you are desperate?  Oh, because they are not good volleyball players!  Well, that’s what many of the teams do even though they don’t win too many games with the weaker players.  And you may want to review the league rules on the RBVL.com website.  No one is eligible to play in the RBVL unless they have turned 14 years old by opening day. 

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!