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RBVL Takes to the Seas

By Katie Honan and Joe McGivney                                                               7/10/15


The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League embarked on a three-hour tour (similar to Gilligan’s) for the first annual (?) Bump, Set, Sail Cruise after the games on Wednesday night.  The American Princess took off from Fort Tilden for the first aquatic after-party in the league’s history.  The RBVL committee would like to extend its thanks to all the loyal players who came out for the party, they are thrilled so many people took part in the little boat ride away from Rockaway.  The boat was chartered by the RBVL and the skipper and his mates and bar staff took the league out for a spin around the neighborhood while Wine with Sue blew the lid off the place with their top shelf rock and roll.  The general consensus was that this boat ride was the first annual but league officials had to remind folks that this was the only cruise planned.  We shall see.  RBVL veterans, Dickie Flanagan and Murph, aka “The Big Guy,” made a late appearance to the boat with a forbidden cooler in tow. What else is new? They always come late, and they always have a cooler.  Luckily officials held the boat an extra five minutes, guessing they’d be arriving any minute.  Local bookies paid off the RBVL exacta bet that Murph and Dickie would be the last two people to board the ship.  That was easy money.  If you could bet on people you could make a lot of money.  Horses and dogs are much more difficult to predict.  Each participant got a bright orange coozie with the league’s logo, a keepsake for the sojourn on the seas.  Denise worked hard to make sure everybody had a ticket, but she had to stay on land due to motherly duties.  The RBVL would like to thank her for helping put the trip together.  Also, thanks to Rocky for being the brains and organization behind the cruise. 


The Wine with Sue VB team beat DysFUNctional 5-0 and then went on board the volley cruise with their sponsor band supplying the music.  That’s what we call a good night.  And what music they provided.  Wine with Sue had the entire upper deck shaking, rattling and rolling all night long.  And they are a league sponsor, to boot.  Of a 2014 championship team, no less.  Vinny won the chin up and the best underwear contests and put on a show that Rusty just couldn’t keep pace with.  Some even suggested that Rusty might have to hand in his party scarf if things didn’t improve.  However, the IFMA’s kicked the party up a notch and that works for Rusty since it’s all in the family.  TBG was appointed captain of the Lido Deck up front while Rocky took charge of the Poop Deck in the rear.  Good thing Cement Shoes didn’t go overboard, he would have sunk right o the ocean floor.  A salute was given to one of the landmark sponsors, Abbracciamento’s, as the ship sailed past the Canarsie pier.  Joe, Rocky, Seal and the spirit of Billy Moore were all visibly moved remembering the good old days.  Pappy planned to play a game or two each week on his farewell tour but the Sharks threw him a curveball and only had 6 players show up Wednesday.  Ergo, Pappy played all 5 games.  And then he was enlisted to make beer runs up and down the boat stairs all night.  MVP!  Tracy is still owed a dance or two and, make no mistake about it, she will collect.  You know who you are slacker.  Joe M. almost had a coronary when he saw his good buddy Tricia Kearns wearing a Yankee hat.  But since it was Tommy’s favorite team, Joe let it slide.  Mr. Happy was not too happy that the party was taking place on a boat, in the water, on the high seas.  He stayed on dry land instead.


And now, to the games (the whole reason for the parties.)  It looked dismal at the start for the Bungalow Baranha’s, who only had three players on the court against old foe Le Greann.  The storm kept many Baranha’s away at first (traffic, scared of clouds) and Casey Brouder, usually a top cheerleader, had to step in for the official coin toss.  Would they have to forfeit?  Only time would tell.  But as the coin flipped in the air, Tara Vasselman and Katelyn Henningsen emerged.  They knew they had a fighting chance, and enough players – plus Tara and Katelyn brought an ice-cold case of beer.  Each game was more thrilling than the next, when the players could get it over the net. Every match was point-game, and the spirits were as high as the “real feel” temperatures.  Last Call battled a younger team, but they still took three out of five. Connor Ryan is a featured player this week for a) showing up and b) being young and agile.  Hopefully, he comes every week and continues his fast moves on the court, so Marshall can take a break.  Please stay away from the rash guy so you don’t catch anything contagious that needs antibiotics.  Dee Weber, RN, said there’s a new study that’s going to be published that finds Last Call does play better if they don’t drink a jug of homemade sangria first.  The study will be published after volleyball season.  The team missed Johnny Angel but apparently he’s joined the Lumberjack Association. It was noted that the beer boy was wearing women’s deodorant.  His teammates were happy he went home to take a shower to get all the sand off his hairy backside.  Connolly’s played TK, a group of young bloods, and lost all five. The last game was close, 21-18, with an even guy-girl split.  They rocked the court because they covered the court, and one player would like to point out they did their best with more ladies on the court.  How young was the other team? The combined age of all of the players was still less than Mr. Happy’s age.  Glenn, your wife will still play next to you anytime even if you boss her around.  Happy 25th anniversary!  There’s still no one else she’d rather bump, set and spike with.  The Notorious D.I.G’s took a solid two out of five, but they still insist they kicked butt. The matches against Eh-Stay were close, carried by Jen McEvoy and Tom Clark’s luscious locks.  D.I.G.’s has been competitive all season and they predict they’ll be the Cinderella story at the playoffs in August to avenge their loss in the 2014 championships.


The Stanii and the Rockaway Breakers, close friends but true frenemies on the court, battled it out on the beach.  The Breakers took it three to two, but that’s only because they had the energy of youth on their side.  Reene and Debbie from the Stanii held their own because “Pinky” Patty refused to play yet again.  The matches went volley for volley all night long, with close scores in each game.

The friendship between the two teams continues off the court, but look out on playoff day – they can resume their friendship in the winter.  In the words of one Billy Macs player: “We sucked tonight.”  They did win one game against the first place Harbor Light Sandhogs.  The first game they were down eight to nothing, then came back to take a 20 to 17 lead, which they eventually lost 24-22, a real heartbreaker for the squad.  They felt they were rushing the games so they wouldn’t miss the boat, which had a lot to do with their level of play.  The Atlantic Service Sandsharks beat the Beachbums 4-1 this week, making a three week victory run.  The big guys in the front held their own while "Brown Eye" Strudel finished strong in the last service with a score of 25-23.  "Muscles" is really good at setting it to the other team.  The Teachers dominated their serves in game 4, along with great setting by Kris, Chris and Jamie.  "Hawk Eye" played the line with his strong bumping skills and Captain Joey joined the team at twilight to celebrate the win.  A big thumbs up to the Beachbums--we're pointing at you!  EZ Company enjoyed 5 games of good volleyball and took 3.  On a hot summer night Dangerous Dan was willing to offer his throat to the wolf with the red roses. Mike Who and Honeymoon Who were at a Dr. Seuss convention with little Cindy Who.  The Big R was Greg-tastic again.  Mini Cooper's laser focus sometimes blinds him on his side of the net.  Mrs. Mini is looking for the perfect cupcake recipe.  Deck Lady put the team first, and set a great example for finals day.  C-Eth brought her “A” game, but weren't beers for the whole team part of the deal?  The Chair Master thinks everyone bringing a chair is a good thing, with no exceptions.  Coach wasn't smiling but she didn't seem unhappy.  Quick get-better soon wishes to Sheila EZ.  EZ Co. misses you.  Many division races are tight but only two currently have teams tied for first place.  In the Beach, Edison Place and Rat Pack NYC both have 20 wins and in the Boardwalk, It’s All Good Tees and the Rockaway Breakers each have 21 points.  Excitement is building.


Public Service Announcement - Have some fun and do some good on Saturday, July 18 at Finn Fest, which will be held at Island Park.  Tickets for the annual fundraiser party are $15 and the proceeds this year will go to the family of Brian Monaghan, a friend to the RBVL and Rockaway who we tragically lost on May 17.

There’s a pool, drinks, food and live music from Gerald Bair, Indaculture, Breezy Grass and other local Long Beach bands.  Free shuttle buses will leave from Bungalow Bar starting at 11:30 and will run until midnight.  Visit FinnFestLB.com for more information or to buy tickets. You can also purchase tickets on the shuttle buses the day of the party.  If you’re looking for some volleyball inspiration, you can watch real actual professionals play next week at a tournament in Manhattan.

The AVP Beach Volleyball Tournament, New York City, starts Thursday, July 16 at 8 a.m. on Pier 25 in Manhattan, on the Hudson River, below Canal Street.  The teams begin playing at 8 a.m. as the qualifiers and will continue Friday into the championships.  You’ll be able to watch Mark Burik, who played on the beaches of Breezy Point and now plays professionally.  Burik plays twos with his teammate, Curt Topple, and hopefully he will make it all the way.  Tickets for the qualifying events are free, and it’s a great chance for some inspiration from top-level beach volleyball players.  The women volleyball players will also play Thursday but across the East River at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, with games starting at 8:30 a.m.  And congratulations to Rockaway star Kerri Gallagher, who qualified for the World Track Championship in Beijing this week.

Her sister Mary Gallagher is a Rockaway Breaker star, with a bunch of great moves that helped the team win their match against the Stanii. Beijing may have Kerri, but the Breakers have Mary – and they also predict a championship.                                


The buzz is growing for the annual Graybeard’s Family Fun Run.  Bugsy will be very busy hosting the festivities and the Grayriders are going to take a break from performing so Gearth, Wind and Fireman were called in from the bullpen from Bay Ridge to make some beautiful noise.  The reason we mention it here is that GW&F feature our very own volleyball legend, Joe Abbracciamento, and several of his first grade classmates and friends.  A few of the Rockaway faithful have crossed a bridge to the mainland to see GW&F but now everyone else can just run 5k and meet them at the finish line at St. Francis.  By the way, that’s where the food and drink is, too.  Remember, captains, if you do not have a referee at your court by 6:30 PM come up to the boardwalk and see Colleen immediately.  We may have a standby ref available but you must see Colleen.  If there is a clipboard at your court, bring it up with you.  Thanks for your assistance.  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.  Forfeits were handed out to a handful of teams last week for failure to submit a signed roster.  More forfeits are on the way each week until this is taken care of by the five delinquent teams.  Once again, 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.  Last week, the Moon and Sun divisions replayed their canceled games and the rest of the league will do so in week #8.  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 11:59 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!