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RBVL Back from the Dead

By Joe McGivney                                                          6/17/16


The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League played their second week of game action on Wednesday and the weather was pretty nice by Riis Park standards, featuring a warm temperature and moderate winds.  After two weeks, only 2 teams out of 78 have not won a game and only 1 team remains undefeated.  And you’ll find out who they are at the end of the article.  Reports of the league’s demise were not greatly exaggerated – but we did have a close call. Thankfully, our players banded together to call and email the National Park Service to let them know how important the RBVL is to the Rockaway community. Our new home inside the first aid center is bigger and brighter, and setup tonight was easy with the nets so available. Thank you, NPS, for giving us the space this year and every year.


By the Beach Cocos, formerly You Got Served, was coming off a rough few games during the last week of play but they found their chemistry once again. They were passing and hitting the ball hard the first three games despite the beach. Rock Fam, though, had a good lineup and got in their own the last two games. Alcohol may have gotten to the Beach Cocos, but despite elements of intoxication, the squad  still had a very good series. Suffice to say, everyone had a great Wednesday night.  The Bungalow Baranha’s took four from Bulloch’s “Perfect Settings” with a few new players for the season. Welcome Aileen, Danny, Sergei, and Mary Beth to the most fun team in the league. Now they’ve got to show their stuff both on the court and after dark.  That’s what makes a true Baranha!  The Wharf Rats played against Star Wars Cantina. The force was not with the Cantina players – the Wharf shot first and took four out of five. All of the games were close and solid play was had the whole night. Shout out to Noelle, the newest star rat on the team.  Jason and Luz, longtime players on Billy Mac’s team, were so dismayed about the end of the volleyball league last week -- not because of play, but because they’d have to talk to each other on Wednesday night. It’s a good thing the league was saved. They remember, after Hurricane Sandy, that nobody thought the league would happen. Thanks to the RBVL committee, though, it returned in summer 2013. It’s people like Jason and Luz that make the RBVL so great. Sands Point Physical Therapy, with their new and rightful division, went two games to three against Its All Good Tees. The team has a mix of seasoned vets and young blood.  Some of All Good Tees’ saltier veterans look like they could use some physical therapy over at Sands Point. The team suggests they check it out, at least before the playoffs.  The Rogers Irish Setters made their triumphant return. After lowballing James Sena in his contract negotiations and offering him nothing, he decided to sign. In spite of him, the team still won four games to one against Boarders. George Clancy was the star on the court, integrating some new team members into the team’s style of play. They all fit well with the longstanding members of the team. The team has one goal – championship or bust.


Happy 50th Birthday to Jimmy McDonough, who is a star player on Pico. He played like a 29-year-old tonight, taking three from the competition. His pal Jerry brought 1st birthday hats for everyone to wear at the bar and the team never looked better.  The Hall of Fame Billiards nearly won five – the first time they would have done that in two decades – but they tanked in the last game. The last time they got that close, Mr. Happy was really happy. They played the Rincon Gringos; manager John Sica couldn’t bear to watch, so he worked instead. And Smitty must have spent too much time in Rincon; he couldn’t deal with the night’s chill. He was bundled up in a coat and pants on the beach. Steve Gifford celebrated getting a storage spot at Riis Park by eating 10 tacos at Pico. Mr. Happy was Senor Very Happy.  Tracy wants to shout out to her new sponsor, Chicks to Go on 97th and the Blvd., the awesome Peruvian restaurant. They beat the Channimals three games to two. The team seemed confused from the start, appearing lost on the beach. Tracy also would like to add a suggestion for beach etiquette while playing: Guys, if your beer belly is bigger than the volleyball, please wear a shirt. There are children present, fellas. Remember, we get free tank tops, do not be afraid to use them.  Win or lose, the chicken is still delicious.


EZ Company went 3-2 against the Diggers.  She Who Kisses Fishes was absent but Khal-EZ took over for her and the players breathed fire for their new leader.  Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water and returned with tons of nice shots.  Cousin C had to leave early to prepare for her time behind bars.  KK was initiated with her first EZ near-death experience compliments of Old Dan The Flying Walenda.  Old Dan also defied gravity with his hops at the net and the way he can turn a full beer can upside down and empty it in less than a second.  Greg the Keg scored at the net and still kept one foot on the sand at all times.  Tamaqua Girl gave away her only drink and missed her man, but soldiered on. Martina proved that 85% of volleyball is just showing up. The other 15% is the commute. The absentees were rumored to be out searching for Young Dan.  Just follow the trail of Huggies.  Casino Auto Body defeated old rival Federation 3-2 in a well-played, evenly balanced match.  The Fed keep looking younger and younger and keep getting better and better.  Say a couple of prayers for Ryan Whelan from the Bungalow Bar that his surgery goes smoothly this week.


Thanks to the superintendent who expedited our entry into suite two when she learned of our urgent need.   Evidently, she was not aware of the frustrating events of the previous month.   When Superintendent Nersesian received the information she acted promptly and the RBVL was able to move in the next day.  Welcome back to our newest “cub reporter,” who has writing skills, class, ability, intelligence and youth, five things not often associated with Rocky, Joe and John.  Keep up the good work.  Your help is much appreciated.  Rosters are past due.  Teams should not be surprised if their point totals go down between this printing and next Wednesday because forfeits will be assigned to all delinquent teams.  (I know you thought we were kidding but we weren’t.)        


The weekly party was at Pico Bar and Pico’s spread was excellent yet again, with giant bowls of chips, guacamole and salsa already on the table as players arrived. They go above and beyond with platter after platter of tacos, quesadillas, rice and beans brought out throughout the night. Pico serves in biblical “Loaves and Fishes” style – the food just keeps on coming.  And it is delicious as well.  Their beer list is great and the spicy margaritas are unlike anything else on the peninsula. Please remember to patronize Pico and all the other sponsor restaurants throughout the year.  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. 


We are trying our hardest with refs, but we always have the potential to run 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 of the referee shortage.  So play ball, be fair, have fun.  If you know anyone interested in being a ref, please send them our way!   And be nice to the young refs; they’ll be playing beside you and across the net from you in a couple of years.  And they’re great kids.  Believe me, no ref has an ax to grind with any of our teams and we need you to treat them with respect.  (There has been occasional slippage in this department the last two seasons.) 


The Star Division has the only undefeated team – Serves ‘Em Right and the two teams without a win thus far are the Beach Orphans and the Beach House.  But at least the Beach House wins the award for the last original team name from the RBVL’s first year.  So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.  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.


See you on the beach!