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Opening Day Finally Arrives for RBVL

By Rocky D. and Joe McGivney                                                                                6/5/15


The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League tried to kick off the 2015 season on Wednesday night 5/27 at Riis Park but the wind speeds approached 25 knots making conditions virtually unplayable.  So attempt number two was made this Wednesday and the weather gods cooperated to insure a successful start to the season.  The air was chilly; there was a significant breeze and the sand felt like you were standing in a frozen margarita, but there were no complaints. To everyone present it was a beautiful night compared to the Riis Park wind tunnel arctic air blast last week, which canceled the first night of games.  Some sources say it was only the second time in 26 years the league cancelled action due to wind.  Even though it was cold and windy, the wet, packed sand helped everybody get mad ups, spike tons of balls in faces and make sick blocks.  At least that is what was reported to the reporters.  Did anybody actually witness this superb playing?  The rainy days this week created near perfect conditions on the sand courts.  The cold weather drove Cement Shoes and TBG into Daltons at 9:15 PM — a record early arrival.  They both vowed to bring drinking gloves to the beach to battle the Arctic blast in the future.  The RBVL opened 2015 with 76 teams, a new league record.  Ten divisions of different levels of play will battle on the beach every Wednesday after the long cold off-season. 


Only 5 teams out of 76 did not get even a single win in their first match.  (You know who you are.)  That means 5 teams are leading their divisions with 5-0 records – Freedhand’s, That’s What She Said, Edison Place, Kiss My Ace and Harbor Light Sandhogs.  And how about the competition in the Sun and Moon divisions, where 5 of 6 matches were split 3-2.  Defending champions Wine with Sue Island had a good showing taking 4 out of 5 in week one of actual play.  No cobwebs were visible as WWSI had some great serving from Tim and Brian to lead the team.  Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.  In the Sun division, the 2014 champion Bungalow Baranha’s battled Simba’s Pride, who were the 2014 division champs. It was a champ vs. champ showdown, and while many of the Baranha’s were rusty from the winter (“I’m not old, I’m just overweight” one player was heard saying on the court, while struggling to catch a breath between plays), they fought a good game. The Baranha’s took three out of five games, and feel ready for the rest of the season.  Captain Vinny from the Baranha’s was busy this winter becoming a certified Yoga instructor. His first Rockaway class is Sunday, June 7 at the Creative Clown, Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 113th Street at a 9:30 a.m. Show up in your volleyball jersey to get $2 off the $12 admission. Beginners welcome!  Namaste.

Welcome to RBVL Jake Smith


The IFMA’s, a team of few words, simply declared “We won” when asked for a recap of their games against The Odd Couples. This amid a little mother-daughter competition, with one of each on both teams.  Not only did the IFMA’s win, they mapped the sand with the faces of family that opposed the young that they produced, a player said. Blood was spilled (metaphorically) and tequila was slugged.  Between games players spiked into guacamole bowls and used the tears of their competitors as tequila chasers.  Sullivan and Galleshaw lost all five and were missing Bobby Whelen, who had a good excuse: He was out celebrating FDNY Medal Day and his accomplishments, which earned him some hardware from the Bravest.  Casino Auto Body defeated The Mighty Boosh three games to two, with standout performances by Allison Bagley on the Boosh, who had awesome sets.  Casino  Auto Body was led to victory by the deft passing and setting of Lauren Ganun and Brianne Johnston.  Pico was introduced into the second division and only took one game, even though they won two.  The other win was stricken from the record because of a forfeit. They lost to Jameson’s, last year’s division champs, but Pico’s players feel like they’re ready for the next few months at a higher level of play.  The Rockaway Breakers took three out of five against Atlantic Service Sandsharks.  They were a little rusty, a little windblown, but they were pretty evenly matched. “All the young ones were perfect,” one player said.  Their MVP is “Little Colleen” who played awesome and made some great plays.  She came on really strong and confident and played a couple of great games. And Theresa on the Breakers made the best bump of the night from the back line.  Eat your heart out, Rusty.


Miley’s Quality Home Improvement lost three to GateMate.net – who put up all de-fences and wouldn’t let anyone through their gate (net) during the games. Ryan O’Donnell said they left it all on the floor and did great the first game. Another player said “We sucked.” Miley’s Quality Home Improvement started in the fifth division and have won their way up to the top.  Ref Julianna is looking for a new video companion to replace former co-star John Sica. Maybe Jimmy Mac can fill the role.  Team Stanii, dressed in bright green, would like to welcome two new team members, Nicole and Tommy (beauty before age.) They made the whole team play much better than last year, so they are already a welcome presence.  They won four out of five, reports Simon, which is must better than last year. Patty thought she saved the day because she brought a scarf to the beach to block the cold.  However it was a “Doris Day” scarf and useless.  She was still freezing.

Patty also apologizes for Mother Nature’s wild wind last week but she assures the players it’s not her fault – it’s Denise’s fault.  She brought up the bad Texas weather to beautiful Rockaway, which never has any bad weather (except that one time.)  Kiss My Ace swept the competition with too many spikes to count. Nick said he felt great about the summer season and hopes to dominate the division.


Gracious party host Dalton’s let the volleyball crowd spill out into its back tent and served delicious hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries off its new food truck, Shore Shack.  The truck officially opens this weekend and will serve pannini sandwiches, the famous Dublin egg roll and more from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. on the weekends -- a perfect way to end a night (and day) of drinking on the beach, if that’s your thing.  Entertainment was provided by Chris Long, who also let local rock stars John Burke and John Fabry get in on the mic and guitar. It was a musical treat of the 21st century, noted music critic and socialite Tara Vasselman.  Welcome back to all of the returning sponsors and to the newest sponsors of RBVL teams.  The league would not flourish without your financial support and is very grateful for your help.  RBVL players should consider using some of the many league sponsors for personal items.  After all, these businesses supported you when you needed them; why not return the favor and support them if you need services they provide.  Your league has become the place to be during the summer in Rockaway.  Remember that has happened primarily because of great camaraderie and sportsmanship more than great athletic play, although there is quite a bit of that, too.  Eleven teams did not pick up their uniform shirts on Wednesday but they did play their volleyball matches so they must have been at Riis Park.  They have one more chance to pick them up next week.  After that, you might see them being worn around the neighborhood by strangers.


We are trying our hardest with refs, but we keep running short. That’s what happens when the league grows as big as the RBVL has.  The captains have been informed of this tough spot on many occasions and the general feedback is that everyone wants the big league in spite the referee shortage.  Right now each division is schedule to have a night of play without a referee.  The Ocean Division went first and this week it is the Ocean Breeze Division’s turn.  And that doesn’t mean all of the other courts are covered.  Play ball, be fair, have fun.  If you know anyone interested in being a ref, please send them out way!  Since week one was cancelled due to weather all of those scheduled games will be played on the night we originally planned a position night.  Position nights get bumped when the RBVL needs to make up a regular week.  So you’ll eventually see that week one opponent down the road.  Welcome Katie Honan and her fast typing skills, honed in keyboarding class at Stella Maris High School, as a “cub reporter” typing up this report.  Katie has writing skills, class and ability, three things not often associated with Rocky, Joe and John.  Welcome aboard.


Rosters are also waivers and must be signed by players.  For this reason and reasons of fair play, teams are not permitted to pick up players from the sidelines on nights they are shorthanded, not even if the opposing captain approves it.  If you need players for your roster, let us know what you need; there are many individual players looking to join the RBVL.  Captains who have handed in unsigned rosters must now get them signed.  SIGNED rosters must be in by week one (5/27) at the latest.  After the blowout make it week two.  Bring them to Patty at the office or court one.  On an administrative note, the RBVL has gone “green” and the Rules and 2015 Schedules are posted on the website.  This saves the printing of thousands of pages of copies.  Captains are reminded that they can have team items entered in the weekly Wave article by showing up at the sponsor bar or by e-mailing Joe at jmcgivney2@nyc.rr.com by 11 PM on Wednesday night.  The RBVL has a Facebook page and, if you like it, you will receive timely updates, whoever you are, captain or not.  Your RBVL Committee members will be around each and every week to help out on any matters and answer your questions.  If you have any questions please call Patty Moule at 917-613-0908.  (Call between 10 AM and 9 PM.) 


See you on the beach!