A competitive edge is forming on the dodgeball court, as the “Senior Citizens” landed their fourth straight win of the intramural season this past Tuesday. With the regular season coming to an end, players share some of their secrets and their hope to land a spot in the playoffs.
Seven players, consisting of roommates and close friends, make up the team of UT seniors.
Senior criminology major Jorge Robert Anderu came up with the team name Senior Citizens for two reasons: one being that all of the players are seniors and the second being because they tend to get injured easily.
Aside from dodgeball, each of the players have had experience playing other intramural sports such as sand and indoor volleyball, as well as basketball throughout their years at UT. Given the team’s years of participation, their first priority is to have fun. But as the games heat up so does the competition.
“We’re really competitive, that’s the biggest thing,” said senior nursing major Jessie-Lee Luttenschlager. “Even though it’s just dodgeball and we’re just doing it for fun, we’re so competitive and that’s why we’re winning all the time.”
Competition is not the only secret to success for the “Senior Citizens.” Communication and teamwork are two of the biggest contributions to their winning record so far.
Senior captain and criminology major Michelle Levonowich uses ball retrieval as an example when she explains one of the strategies her team uses to stay on top of the game.
“If all of the balls are in the back one of the players will go and get them to hand out to the stronger players,” Levonowich said. “Teamwork is a big thing with us.”
The team depends on senior sports management major Dan Roehrer to shut down the opposing teams with his strong arm.
The chemistry between the teammates also serves as a contribution to their success. Luttenschlager and Levonowich are roommates and have had a tight bond with the other five players throughout their career at UT.
Considering all of these skills, the team’s ultimate goal is to finish the league on top.
“With a 4-0 record, they will definitely have a shot,” said freshman referee Sean Brophy.
Brophy said dodgeball is a lot different from the other intramural sports because there is no concern for point differentials that could hold a team back from the title. Since the games are best out of five, teams are ranked based on number of wins.
Chris Gottlick, assistant director for campus recreation and wellness, believes that sportsmanship is another factor which determines whether teams can make it into the play-offs. At the end of each game, referees give the teams a score between zero and three with zero being the worst.
“Everyone is guaranteed four regular season games,” Gottlick said. “If you come out of the regular season with at least a 500 record, so 2-2, and at least a 2.0 sportsmanship average, then you would be eligible for the playoffs.”
The 12 top teams in the league are guaranteed to move onto the play-offs games after their record and sportsmanship averages are determined.
“As long as everybody shows up and comes ready to play we’ll win it for sure,” Luttenschlager said.
Team players as well as referee’s believe that the “Senior Citizens” have a shot at finishing strong and ending their last semester at UT with a bang.
Ann Marie Distasi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org