August 3, 1997 in Sports

Spiked From Championship Team, But Still Diggin’ It Ex-Whitworth Player Enjoying Lower Division Competition

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Meredith Decker was bumped from her former volleyball team.

But she doesn’t take it as a dig.

“Last year, when there was no money involved, I was on the Open Division team that won,” Decker said Saturday afternoon at the Spike & Dig Volleyball Tournament at Community Colleges of Spokane.

“Now the Open Division winners get money. Go figure.”

Go figure? The math is simple.

Decker, a former Whitworth player, stands 5-foot-3.

Her fiancee, Chad Coupland, is a strapping 6-5.

Coupland, who claims to be an “unemployed golfer” originally from Trail, British Columbia, was asked to play on Decker’s Open Division team this year. Things are just a bit more serious now that a $500 prize is involved.

Coupland’s Team Clueless raced through the morning pool play undefeated.

Decker, meanwhile, was invited to play on a lower division team this year that ranges in age from a teenager to a 56-year-old man. Her team, the No Names, also didn’t lose a morning match.

“It’s a little more challenging,” said Decker. “It’s not as organized, it’s not as in control. It’s kind of frustrating. But everybody’s out here having fun. You can’t beat that.”

Everybody includes a sans-sand beach party of 185 teams of sixes averaging 7.2 players per team.

That adds up to 1,332 players, many showing more flesh than flash.

Blame - or thank - the bare skin on the warm weather.

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a shower going right now on my forehead,” said tournament organizer Jerry Schmidt as he wiped the sweat from his face.

Schmidt, an original Hoopfest organizer, said he was told by a California Gatorade distributor that Spokane’s six-person tournament is the largest of its kind.

She’s not the only jumpin’ Lee

Just hours after Spokane’s Jaimie Lee was named to the U.S. World University Games volleyball team, her kid sister, Katie, and kid brother, Brian, were busy carrying the banner for Ferris High School’s Senior High Division Spike & Dig team. Both said the news of Jaimie, who will be a senior at Notre Dame this fall, making the team came as no surprise.

“It’s always been her goal to play on the national team,” said Katie, who will be a senior on the Saxons volleyball team this fall. Brian, entering his sophomore year, plays a lot of club volleyball. He just returned from a camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., site of the U.S. Olympic team and summer home of sister Jaimie.

The younger Lees said neither will be going to Sicily, Italy, to watch Jaimie compete.

“But if she goes to the Sydney Olympics (in 2000), then maybe we’ll go there,” Katie said.

I can name that team in two words

Spike & Dig participants have some catching up to do with the Hoopfest folks when it comes to creative team names. However, there are a few worth mentioning.

From the sticking to the volleyball theme department: Just Spike It, Arm and Hammer, Spikin’ Studs, Spikettes.

From the this probably has two meanings: It’s Been a Long Time.

And lastly, from the people who seemed to think this name’s the funniest department: Grassholes.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: On deck at Spike & Dig Today’s bracket can be picked up no earlier than 9:30 a.m. at the scoreboard area. Single-elimination play begins at 10. Division finals are this afternoon.

This sidebar appeared with the story: On deck at Spike & Dig Today’s bracket can be picked up no earlier than 9:30 a.m. at the scoreboard area. Single-elimination play begins at 10. Division finals are this afternoon.


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