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Club Spikeball Taking Off One Year And 500+ Members Later

When he first stepped onto campus as a freshman last year, Isaac Freeman was shocked to learn that Penn State didn’t have a Spikeball club.

So, he and four friends: Bianca Carbone, Adrian Carbone, Lawson Fisher, and Jayden Barnes, started the club themselves. It took nearly the entire fall semester to get the club off the ground, but it finally came together during the spring semester when it was easier to get students to play, as opposed to during the winter.

The club practices 3-4 times a week on the HUB Lawn. Freeman, now the president of the Penn State Spikeball Club, made it clear that the club is full of students from all backgrounds and experience levels who have one thing in common: a love for Spikeball.

“My favorite part about being in this club is going to tournaments and making Penn State’s presence known to the Spikeball community, as well as introducing my Penn State friends to Spikeball,” Freeman said.

Although there are more than 500 people in Club Spikeball’s official GroupMe, Freeman says there are only 30 members who regularly compete for the team.

“It’s super casual. There are no requirements or anything like that, you can come and go as you please,” Freeman said. “If you’re interested in joining, we have players from all levels, beginner to semi-pro, so you can definitely find a group of people in your skill level that you can mesh with.”

The club is so passionate about Spikeball that it has a separate GroupMe for pick-up games for students who missed a practice, or just want more training.

The club entered the Spikeball Roundnet Association’s sectionals tournament this weekend at the University of Maryland with high expectations, as a strong showing could lead to an invitation to the sport’s national competition in Richmond, Virginia.

Last fall, Club Spikeball placed fourth overall as a squad and had one of its individual teams come in second.

This year, in individual play, Freeman and his partner Otis Lyons went the furthest in the tournament, going 4-0 until losing to North Carolina in the quarterfinals. In the squad bracket, Penn State’s A-team beat Virginia before losing to Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals.

After sectionals, Club Spikeball will ramp down its outdoor practices for the semester, as the Spikeball season ends when the brutal State College winter hits.

“We’re going to try to practice indoors as much as we can this winter, and then ramp it back up [on the HUB Lawn] as soon as spring hits,” Freeman said.

Club Spikeball has big plans for when the weather breaks in the spring, including hosting a giant tournament on campus that would be open to any student who wants to participate.

“We also hope to host more official college sectional tournaments in the near future,” Freeman said.

Editor’s Note: Otis Lyons is a contributor for Onward State. He was in no way involved in the creation of this post.

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About the Author

Matthew Ogden

Matthew Ogden is a senior double majoring in Marketing and Journalism. He resides in South Jersey and is the cohost of Onward State's podcast, Podward State, and the blog's preeminent expert on Kanye West. Email him your favorite Spotify playlists to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MattOgden98.

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