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Live on TransWeb...1998 US Transplant Games

Hot Competition at Volleyball
Story by Andrew Ti, photography by Nick Dean, audio by Bob Garypie

see also: A Truly Remarkable Athlete, by Jason Sprawka and More photos

See Volleyball Results at

Brown Gym in Larkin's Hall is roaring today as the screams of the crowd and the shouts of the players echo through the dome. At the end of the floor, two large fans fight a losing battle with the heat of hundreds of spectators and players. The six person mixed teams line themselves up on the four courts across the floor, with the spectators watching from bleachers in the balcony overhead.

With four games running concurrently in the enclosed gym, the sensation of walking in is slightly disorienting, as applause and whistles come from every direction and all around, volleyballs are flying through the air. But eventually the patterns become apparent and you begin to get a sense of the dig, set, spike, repeat routine.

The teams are composed of all levels of players, but, volleyball being a team effort, personal skill becomes less important than the organization and communication within the team. The teams from Southern California and Florida stand out in particular, with their tall players and presumably long volleyball tradition.

All geographic stereotypes aside, the competition is fast and fierce, and the spectators are definitely very much a part of the competition, their cheers and whistles stating emphatically who's on top and who just made a good play.

But the event is very much in the spirit of sportsmanship, and there are handshakes and hugs as the teams switch sides and as the games end. Everyone is glad to be competing, and this spirit shows through very much in the games.


As the dust settled, Team Puerto Rico emerged victorious after putting a team together at the last minute. Listen here to our interview with team manager Monin Aponte just moments before the final round.


See also: More photos

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Last modified: 11 May 2000