Related: 40x40 List
Date completed: Wednesday, October 28, 2015
I've worked at the University of Minnesota for close to 8 years and until last night, I had never been to an athletic event. Thanks to free tickets for Faculty and Staff Appreciation Days, it was an easy choice to give it a go. I chose volleyball because unlike the majority of team sports, I know the rules. I used to play volleyball in high school and there's a treat at the bottom of the post to prove it.
My pal and former co-worker, Liz joined me which was more than appropriate because her little sis, Kathleen is a pro volleyball player. As you may remember, Liz was my date at the Lynx game. Since neither of us normally follow sports, it's perfect. Now I'm trying to figure out other sports events we can attend together.
Since I stayed on campus after work for the game, I arrived to Williams Arena and Sports Pavilion early and was able to flip through the September issue of Ski-U-Mah, the official magazine of Gopher Athletics. I always like a good sports story so reading up on roommates and teammates, Daly Santana and Dalianliz Rosado was a fun way to start my evening of volleyball fandom.
Though it was no Target Center Lynx game, a night at "The Pav" is great entertainment. The crowd was full of maroon and gold fans shouting "Point U" every time a point was scored. The announcer belted out "Block Party" when a Gopher blocked a point, and got us up on our feet when the U was about to win a set. Goldy Gopher, the band, and a group of students in the "Gopher Block" made me nostalgic for my days as an undergrad at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (though I didn't really go to games then either). During one of the breaks, a youth dance group performed and I am seriously considering attending more youth dance performances in the future - they make my heart explode with joy.
The night ended on a hight note as the University of Minnesota Gophers beat Indiana University Hooisers 3-0 (sets: 25-17, 25-21, 25-16). Way to go Gophers - you can count on me to root for you.
Proof of my volleyball roots
The Nivens Family