Thousands of students and locals in board shorts and bikinis poured onto East Beach Saturday to witness the 5th annual All-Sorority Volleyball Tournament.
Approximately 24 sorority volleyball teams from UCSB and nearby schools attended this year’s tournament, which was hosted by Alpha Tau Omega. This past Saturday also marked the second year in a row that the tournament was held outside of Isla Vista. The event was relocated two years ago after officials had complained of several alcohol violations and other disturbances.
Senior political science major and event organizer Adam Stark estimated that the event drew around 3,500 spectators. He also said the event seemed relatively peaceful.
“All the games went well,” Stark said. “There were no complaints about any scoring and there was nothing unexpected. Everything went as planned and it all went very, very well.”
Stark said the event likely raised $30,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association and that an increase in the number of sponsorships also allowed ATO to present more awards at the tournament.
“The team that won the championship won the trophy, as well as a free paid trip to the Red Bull air show on May 3 and 4, and a VIP party,” Stark said, “The packages we put together for the teams also worked out well.”
The winning team of the tournament this year was UCSB’s own Alpha Chi Omega sorority. The coach of Alpha Chi Omega, senior art history major Joel McConnaughy, said his team possessed the unique drive required to succeed in the finals.
“All the sororities really got into it,” McConnaughy said. “AXO just were really into it. They won last year, so it was something they really wanted again. No one was able to touch my team.”
Danee Rose, a second-year interdisciplinary major and AXO ASVT team player, said it was hard work that carried her team to the championships and its victory over Alpha Phi.
“I’m not going to say it was easy,” Rose said. “[Alpha Phi] were great competitors. It just felt good and I think our hard work paid off.”
Stark said the event had officers and emergency personnel on standby.
“In addition to hiring police officers and security guards, we paid to have two lifeguards on duty,” Stark said. “I heard nothing from the park whatsoever about them having to take care of anyone – same from the Red Cross, no one to take care of.”
Stark said this year’s tournament was a better affair thanks to more sponsorship involvement, which made food tents and other forms of entertainment possible.
“We had a graffiti artist come and do a mural, KJEE did the music and emceeing, Subway and Lettuce B. Frank did food, [Open People’s Party] – the political party – provided us with a full tent just for water for the whole event,” Stark said. “Sundance Beach and the Red Cross had tents there as well.”
Rose said one of the biggest improvements was the available food at the event, provided by Subway and Lettuce B. Frank.
“The food stations and food that was provided for the players was also amazing,” Rose said. “No one had to leave the beach to get food, so that was a nice improvement.”
Stark, who worked for over three months with fellow ATO fraternity members Nick Woodward, Marc Touchette, Jake Gould, James Oberhausen and Sean Velasquez on ASVT, said he was grateful for all the outside contributions.
“[Our contributors] did an amazing job,” Stark said. “Whether it was setup, take-down, scoring – they made everything run really smooth and made my life really easy.”