Wellsville co-ed sand volleyball league still popular

By: 
Theo Tate

Taylor Carr of Wellsville goes for a dig during a sand volleyball match on June 15. THEO TATE PHOTO

Eight years ago, Gary McCurdy took a trip to Jamaica.

That gave him an idea to start a sand volleyball league in Wellsville.

“The only sand volleyball leagues around were in bars,” said McCurdy, a Montgomery City resident. “So we wanted more of a family thing that you can bring everybody to.”

Ever since it started in 2013, the Wellsville Co-Ed Sand Volleyball League continues to be popular. It has numerous players from Montgomery, Audrain and Callaway counties.

“As of now, we have teams from Mexico, Vandalia, Kingdom City, Auxvasse and Fulton,” McCurdy said.

The league has two seasons a year – a fall and a spring. All matches are played near the Man Shop in Wellsville.

The 2021 spring season, which began on April 27, will wrap up on July 13 with a four-team playoff tournament. There were 11 teams in the league this spring.

Husband and wife duo Trevor and Tara Calton of Middletown were among the first players to join the league eight years ago. They currently play on a team called Sugar & Spikes.

“We first started with Gary’s team,” Trevor said. “He called us and asked us to play with him. Two or three years ago, we got our family together and got a team together. It’s just a little family fun just to get everybody active.”

Tara said she and her husband were playing in a softball league with friends before they found out about the sand volleyball league.

“I love playing volleyball,” Tara said. “It keeps us young and keeps us involved with our family.”

McCurdy started the volleyball league in the fall of 2013 after finding some empty property at the back of the Man Shop and turning it into a sand volleyball court.

“At that time, we were running a co-ed softball league as well, so we were looking for something else that wasn’t as competitive and you don’t have to buy cleats and you don’t have to buy a bat,” McCurdy said. “Here, you can just come play and have some fun. It’s kind of laid back.”

Five matches are played every Tuesday. All matches are played in a best-of-three format. The first two sets are played to 25 points, with the final set being played to 15.

“We keep the majority of the normal sand volleyball rules,” McCurdy said. “We did implement female rule a couple of seasons back. That is where if it takes more than one hit to get it over, a female must touch it within one of those three hits. That way, we make it more co-ed versus the guys taking over the game itself and kind of moving the girls out of the way. You can have eight people on a roster and five people on a court.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the league did have a spring season. It started in June.

“Once we got going last year, we heard a lot of praise about it,” McCurdy said. “Thank goodness that it was back to some normalcy for people just to get out of the house and not get shuttered in. It was good.”  

 

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Montgomery Standard

115 W. Third St.
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