OPINION: Why K-State volleyball games are the best sporting events to attend

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Then-junior outside hitter Alyssa Schultejans hits the ball during the game against KU at Ahearn Field House on Sept. 24, 2016. (Maddie Domnick | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State is known for its community that values family, legacy and athletics, but when we think of K-State sports, football most often comes to mind.

Coach Bill Snyder and his football team are definitely the focal point for K-State sporting events. Though football games are fun to attend, the true underdog sport here is volleyball. Here are a couple reasons why watching K-State volleyball games is the best.

1. Our team is good

In the 2017 season, K-State volleyball had a win-loss record of 10-19, a decent record in a volatile sport like volleyball. Though I have watched our team suffer losses, I’ve never seen the Wildcats give up or slump in their game. Our volleyball players always put up a good fight, and that’s commendable even in the face of a loss. When a victory happens, the back-and-forth struggle of the game is all worth it.

2. No braving the elements

I used to work as a peer security staff member for K-State Athletics, and at my very first football game as an employee, it poured so much there were several game delays due to the heavy rain and lightning. At other games, it seemed like it was always too hot or too cold to be comfortable in Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

With volleyball, the games are indoors, so you never have to worry about rain, sun or snow. Wear your K-State spirit gear comfortably in Ahearn Field House during volleyball games. There’s no need to bring sunscreen, hand warmers or an umbrella; just relax and enjoy the mildly warm atmosphere.

3. Free for students!

Like most of the university’s sporting events, admission is free with a K-State ID. One of my biggest gripes with men’s basketball and football is that not only do students have to pay to attend, but you can’t purchase single-game passes. It’s all season long or nothing. You won’t be out any cash when you attend a K-State volleyball game, and that’s a big plus.

4. Volleyball is fast-paced and exciting

Much like basketball, volleyball is a game that keeps its players and spectators on their toes. If you look away, you could miss rapid-fire hits, blocks, tips and dives that make or break a play. Long volleys build up the best kind of tension as you’re waiting to see who slips up first. With all the quick, skillful spikes and blocks, volleyball is high-energy and a blast to watch.

5. You don’t have to understand it very well

When I started cheerleading in junior high, I had to be at football games, and I didn’t know how football worked at all. Now that I know more about football, I can enjoy watching a game, but if you don’t know the rules, it’s hard to follow.

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Then-sophomore setter Sarah Dixon serves the ball during the game against Kansas at Ahearn Field House on Sept. 24, 2016. (Maddie Domnick | Collegian Media Group)

With volleyball, if you understand the basic rules — three hits per side, don’t drop the ball, don’t touch the net — it’s an exciting sport to watch. As you understand the intricacies of the game more and more (especially as a former player, like me), watching volleyball becomes more of an immersive, complex experience.

6. The band is there!

A select group of musicians from K-State’s marching band are at every volleyball game. Much like the basketball team’s Cat Band, the traditional pep band wind instruments are spiced up with a drummer and an electric bass guitar player. They play the Wabash Cannonball, the Fight Song, Alma Mater and more. If the marching band and its traditions bring joy to your football and/or basketball game days, its energy is present at volleyball matches, too.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with K-State volleyball, and that’s why I think it’s the best sport to attend. It’s free, it is always entertaining and you don’t have to stand for hours baking in the sun to see fellow students compete for K-State Athletics.

Dene Dryden is the Collegian’s managing editor and a junior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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Dene Dryden
I'm Dene Dryden, and I graduated in May 2020 with a Bachelor's of Arts in English. Before graduating, I worked at the Collegian for more than three years as a copy chief, managing editor and editor-in-chief. I also served a term on the Collegian Media Group Board of Directors. While at K-State, I also worked at Wildcat 91.1 FM. My cat Robyn is the light of my life, and I take compliments in the form of coffee.