The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 24, 2013

Fans ‘in’-Spire for MAC V-ball tourney

Staff Writer

HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — Fans made their way to Spire Institute Saturday afternoon for the semi-final round of the Mid-American Conference Volleyball Tournament.

Becky DeGeorge of Jefferson said she comes to the tournament every year. She said she loves volleyball and the high level of competition between the eight teams that started the tournament Friday afternoon.

A highly charged match between Ohio University and Northern Illinois got the crowd going.

Chants of NIU, NIU and Bobcats, Bobcats, Bobcats rang through the large area where the volleyball finals are held annually.

Fans from Northern Illinois University paper signs and screamed for their team while Ohio University was picked up by the Ohio Alumni Varsity Band that plays for every home match and travels to the tournament.

Aaron Romero, the drummer and spokesman for the band, said there are 42 members of the band that drive from all over Ohio to play the home matches.

Romero said the group practices six times during the summer and then gathers for the matches. “We love being re-connected with the university,” he said.

Romero said the musicians all just love to play music and it is a bonus to be able to do it for the university they love.

“We have people that drive four and a half hours to Athens,” Romero said of the band. He said the volleyball players really appreciate their efforts and that makes the trip much easier.

As white flakes of snow danced outside Spire Institute white volleyballs were dancing inside.

The band will continue playing today as the Bobcats l play in the tournament championship at 1 p.m. with a trip to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament on the line.