Sunday night spike

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Intramural volleyball champions Felice Lagarde, Jonathan Telander, Isabela Lima, and John Kheriaty. Photo courtesy of UD Rec Sports

It’s no secret to the students of University of Dallas that sports are among the best ways to cultivate both skill and community, and intramural volleyball is no different. The Campus Activities Board hosts a tournament every semester, but it’s Jonathan Telander, a junior psychology major, who hosts weekly open volleyball. In the time that has passed since he started in 2019, Telander has built a vibrant community of friends and athletes that are connected by the sport.

Intramural volleyball takes place in three forms. Although there are no formal practices, every Sunday night Telander hosts open gym volleyball in the Ed Maher athletic center. There is also a beach volleyball tournament every fall and an indoor tournament every spring.

There are a few key differences between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball, the most important of which is the team size. Beach volleyball is played in teams of two while indoor volleyball is played in teams of six. The size of the court often differs as well.

A beach volleyball tournament took place over the weekend of Oct. 8, and Telander’s team, comprised of Bela Lima, Felice Legarde and John Kheriaty, walked away with a victory. “It went really well. My team won because there’s a bunch of teams and you choose your partners, and my team won that one so it was really fun,” said Telander.

Telander also noted that, despite a relatively small number of spectators, tournament attendance went very well this semester. He said, “it fluctuated, so sometimes, if you play in the morning there’s not going to be tons of people there, but at some point there [were] probably 20 or 30 people there watching and so it wasn’t huge, but still a lot of fun.”

Telander shared his favorite memory of intramural volleyball, from the fall of 2019 when he and Cecilia Stariha won the intramural beach volleyball tournament. 

Telander explained: “Me and my friend were freshmen coming in … We won the whole tournament and we were playing seniors and juniors and it was pretty intense but it was really cool coming in as a freshman and just winning just with doubles, which is really hard.”

Although volleyball is an intense and rewarding sport all by itself, intramural volleyball at UD has its own little niche on campus; it forges friendship and community outside of more organized sports. 

Telander summed up his experience, saying: “It’s really a team sport that you need a lot of communication in, it’s one of those deals where you really rely on your teammates in order to play the whole game. So it’s really a team game, you know, and so that’s why I think it’s such a fun game to play for community building … You really need to rely on the people that you’re playing with and just have a strong bond.”

Correction 8:46 p.m., Nov. 8: This article has been corrected with the correct spelling of Telander’s name. Additionally, Telander does not host open volleyball at Bob Eden or Victoria Park. He conducts open volleyball at the UD Gym only.

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