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July 22, 2009 > Surprise! World Class volleyball takes off in Fremont

Surprise! World Class volleyball takes off in Fremont

By Marty Friedman

What the heck is volleyball doing at Club Sport in Fremont? The club is the center for everything from racquetball to squash, to African dancing. You read right. Club Sport hosts a high energy dance class with some 40 members - nearly all female.

Okay, just what is volleyball doing at the Club? "Absolutely exploding," according to Tony Young, the genial marketing director of Club Sport, and a bit of a duffer at this demanding sport, himself.

Yes, volleyball has been at the club since the day it opened in 1996. However, the sport just "limped along" for many years until two things really started to push volleyball over the top.

First, it seemed like every American watched Misty May and Kerri Walsh demolish every opponent on the way to Olympic Gold; and second, Club Sport hired Walter Lopez, a very knowledgeable volleyball coordinator.

It seemed like almost overnight, everyone from high school students to adults, ages 30 to 40, jumped at a chance to play. (Not to mention the crowds that soon showed up to cheer for their favorites.)

Volleyball clinics, tournaments, leagues for all ages, for men and women are offered. Tuesday and Thursday are the big league night. Plus there's a coed league on Tuesday night, and a league for women only on Thursday night.

Sorry, no "Spartans," "Warriors," "Wolverines" and "Cougars." Teams generally have a plain old number from one to six or seven. The makeup of each team is informally determined. Some guys simply ask to team up with some of their buddies. That's it.

"Obviously we want people to become members," Young pointed out. "That's why we encourage nonmembers to play."

As long as a potential member understands volleyball rules and regulations, anyone at any skill level can join the eight-week league.

Once the league is over however, you must become a member to play again.

Along with enjoying the competition, Club Sport emphasizes the fun and conviviality that volleyball brings out.

Each team plays each other two or three times during the season. Teams with the best records enter the playoffs, with finalists invited to play for the championship on one big night.

Win or lose, all finalists enjoy a festive buffet followed by a picture-taking session of the champion team. All winning team members' names are proudly displayed, as well.

The photo itself, suitably framed, is then hung in the hallway near the photo of the winning basketball team.

Unlike so many other sports, there is literally no physical contact with the opposing team. The whole emphasis is on each player's performance on their side of the net, period.

Club Sport is located at 46650 Landing Parkway in Fremont. For more information, contact the club at 510-226-8500, or visit their Web site, www.clubsports.com/Fremont.

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