In the late afternoon, a crowd of students in athletic wear gather in the third floor lobby of the Ornelas B building before making their way downstairs, gathering people along the way, to the sand volleyball court for a few sets of street volleyball.
This occurs regularly during the week from 6-6:30 p.m. when a group of third floor residents use an Ornelas amenity to blow off a little steam.
“[The court has been there] since the building was built five years ago,” said Diana Karol, director of Auxiliary Services Residential Life & Housing. “Then the question is, why this year? What happened that these residents are using it this year? You need to ask them, we don’t know. We love the fact that people are taking advantage of all the amenities that the buildings have to offer.”
This increase in the use of the court is due to a group of students who want to stay active in college.
“I played baseball in high school and since I don’t play it now, since I really don’t play sports anymore, I really wanted to stay active,” said Justin Daugherty, freshman and street volleyball participant. “I constantly have to be doing stuff, so we decided to start up volleyball and see how it went, and so far it’s been pretty good.” The group has been playing since the residents moved in late August and start-
ed the first game with help of the floor’s Residential Advisor.
“They walked up and knocked on my door because they wanted to get more people involved, mainly girls and they didn’t know how so they wanted me to ask for them,” said Jordan Castillo, Residential Advisor for the third floor of Ornelas. “I said ‘OK guys, follow me’ and we just walked down the hall and knocked on each door and they started doing it as well and just asked if people wanted to go play with us.”
The group jokingly refers to the games as “street volleyball” from time to time due to the lack of a referee.
“It’s a bunch of friends, it’s not like it’s super competitive, but it’s competi- tive enough,” said Daugherty. “Well, sometimes we mess around. It’s not like super hardcore or anything, but like I said it’s just a bunch of friends playing around and so I guess street volleyball was a practical term.”
The court sits behind the athletic field house, parallel to the creek that runs through a gap between the Ornelas dorm buildings. The ball flying into the creek is a problem.
“There has been a lot of talk of putting up a big net behind it and we’ve investi- gated it,” Karol said. “The answer always was, ‘well nobody uses it, so why would we invest in something’, but now we can say ‘but people are using it … ‘”
The creek remains an obstacle without a net to catch the ball before it rolls down the 10-foot drop.
“That would make life so much easier, down there,” Castillo said.
Third-floor residents are the majority of the players, but the players welcome anyone who want to join the game.
“We usually play around 6:30-7 p.m. maybe a little bit later than that some- times. It all just depends on people’s schedules and stuff,” Daughtry said. “We play almost every night and have a bunch of fun and meet new friends and go from there.”