From Oct. 19 to 22 Union College hosted its annual volleyball tournament alongside its first soccer tournament. Twelve schools from the Mid-America Union and others like Greater Miami and Collegedale participated in the volleyball event and seven teams played for the soccer games. The Collegedale Eagles took the title for the volleyball tournament, while the soccer champions were the Campion Cougars.
Group play for both soccer and volleyball began Thursday through half of Friday with bracket games beginning Friday afternoon, and the championship set played on Saturday night.
On Saturday night the gym and soccer fields were brimming with excitement as the final legs of the tournaments were played.
The soccer championship game was played first at 7:30 p.m. where the Campion Cougars played against the Sunnydale Spartans. The the first half started off with Sunnydale controlling the ball and attempting many shots at the goal. However, the score remained at 0-0 into halftime.The crowd was divided between Campion and Sunnydale with many Union students coming out to support their respective high schools and by halftime the bleachers were forgotten in favor of standing on the edges of the field.
Jean-Christian Toure, alum of Campion Academy and a junior business and computing major, gave the best perspective. “Cheering for your school reminds you of how much you loved these tournaments and your former high school.”
The second half started with a brilliant Campion goal that caught everyone unaware, 1-0 in favor of Campion. From then on Campion had the momentum, which resulted in a penalty that raised the score to 2-0. They scored their final goal in the last five minutes making in 3-0. When the referee made the official call it was a celebration for Campion. In the words of Campion’s coach Randolph Ottschofski, “This season the boys played with humility and even though they lost some games, this game makes it all worth it.”
Back in the Thunderdome, volleyball games battled out to decide the championship. The first place match began at 10:30 p.m. with the Collegedale Eagles vs the Mile High Mustangs. The gym was packed with the different teams from the tournament coming to watch with supporters and parents staying for the championship game.
The Collegedale Eagles started off by taking the first set 25-20. However, Mile High bounced back and took control of the second set that ended with 25-22 lead. With the teams tied at two sets a piece, the match came to the tie breaker set. Playing to only 15 points, Collegedale started off with the lead and never relinquished it, winning the match 15-10.
At the end of the night, while it was a competition, the experience that the players and fans had was what made it a memorable tournament.
Mayline Graham is a sophomore studying international relations.