Glow volleyball tournament lights up night

Playing under the blacklight, UV reactive clothing and tape lit up the volleyball courts during the competition.



Ready, set, glow…Getting ready to serve, junior Emily Rychlak glows brightly under the black lights. Student Council hosted its annual Glow Volleyball Tournament on April 18.

By participating in friendly rivalry, students competed against their friends and clubs at the Glow Volleyball Tournament held on April 18 at 6 p.m. in the high school gym.
This year marked the second appearance of Student Council’s volleyball tournament with a glow-in-the-dark twist.
During each round, teams had 10 minutes to score 15 points against their opponents. If a team lost twice, they were eliminated from the bracket. After many rounds, The Mistakes emerged as the winners of the competition.
According to Student Council Advisor Amy Tarlo, glow volleyball was an easy event to plan since the rules of the game are straightforward and anyone can play, regardless of skill level.

Student Council President Alexa Mazzeo said the event “came back strong” with 17 teams participating. Registration was also free to encourage students to play in the tournament.
Some of the teams included the Defenders of Democracy, Mrs. DiFranco’s Warriors, One Hit Wonders, Soudy Softball and Glatts’ Gladiators.
Going into the tournament, teams that played last year had preexisting rivalries, motivating them to return with their best efforts.
“I think a lot of people will come back more angry and ready to win,” Mazzeo said.
According to senior Patrick Rother, The Arrowhead experienced a “tough loss” during the first round of the tournament last year. This time around, he took the competition more seriously with a passion to win.
“This year, I knew what was at stake,” Rother said. “I knew what needed to be done to revamp the program.”
Rother began by changing their name from the Arrowhead Archers to the Defenders of Democracy to “bolster [the] team’s confidence.” They also had two team practices before the event, working to improve their passing and accuracy.
Their rivals were Mrs. DiFranco’s Warriors, mainly composed of AP Psychology students.
“A slight bit of animosity for the other teams is going to bring a lot of people together,” senior Caden Schaeffer said. “A friendly competition is going to make people really close.”
According to senior Andreas Cruz, their team had “good synergy” as the members shared a common goal—winning.
“You can’t enter the tournament without thinking you’re going to win,” senior Jack Metzger said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Even with the competitive nature, glow volleyball offered a new setting for people to bond with one another.
“The event brings clubs and groups together in a different environment: a volleyball court. It’s a lot of fun,” Mazzeo said.
For Mrs. DiFranco’s Warriors, preparation included a team-bonding activity, during which they decorated shirts.
Cruz said that beyond having a shared name, their jerseys displayed creativity and reflected each person’s individual playing style. Many teams had jerseys to showcase their spirit, while others opted for neon attire that glowed in the ultraviolet lighting.
Throughout the night, guidance counselor Daniel Glatts played music so the players could enjoy themselves between games.