Muddy ‘Oozeball’ offers clean fun

3-30-09 Ooze Ball
Business junior Jesse Knight spreads mud onto computer science sophomore Mike Sawtelle’s face at Oozeball, the Student Alumni Association’s annual mud volleyball tournament.(Damien Maloney | The State Press)
Published On:
Monday, March 30, 2009
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ASU students got together Saturday for some good, clean fun by getting down and dirty at the Student Alumni Association’s annual mud volleyball tournament, known as Oozeball.

Hunt Construction Group trenched three of the Alpha Drive fields, which were then drenched with water to make a mud pit for the Oozeball tournament. About 100 people participated in the all-day event.

The Oozeball competition is the Student Alumni Association’s signature event that has been an ASU tradition for more than 20 years, said Alissa Pierson, associate executive director of programs for the association.

“[Oozeball] is something that every student at ASU needs to experience,” Pierson said. “It is a tradition of fun that creates friendships and provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Program manager and Student Alumni Association adviser Greg Mena agreed, saying that people participate “because Oozeball is so unique, and it’s dirty.”

“I think students like doing something that they can’t do anywhere else on campus,” he said.

Mena said he thinks students also participate because funds raised through sign-up fees go toward keeping other ASU traditions alive, like whitewashing “A” Mountain and the lantern walk, both sponsored by the Student Alumni Association.

But first and foremost, Oozeball is about getting dirty and having fun, Mena said, and students who won and lost agreed.

Kurtis Hingston, a marketing and economics senior, was part of a team that made it to the final four. Though his team didn’t win the tournament, he said it was worth getting dirty.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Hingston said, who has Oozeball experience after participating last year.

Tai Jam, a criminal justice junior, was part of Team Care Bear, which made it to the final game, but lost. Even though her team came in second place, she said she had a great time playing Oozeball.

“I love volleyball, and I love mud,” she said. “Overall, it was a great game.”

Fellow Team Care Bear member Blayne Bennet agreed.

“We were a little nervous at first, but once the Care Bears hit the mud, it was game over” — or so she thought, the finance junior said.

“But we had team unity. It was a good competition,” she said.

Kyle Moon, an interdisciplinary studies senior, was part of the winning team, which he said was made up of high-school friends who love volleyball and competition.

“We’ve all played volleyball together forever,” he said. “And it’s fun to play in the mud.”

Jesse Knight, also a member of the winning team, said he was proud to be part of the championship team but participated to have some fun.

“I like getting dirty and [having] fun with friends,” Knight, a business junior, said. “Plus, how often can you get muddy and play volleyball?”

Reach the reporter at abigail.gilmore@asu.edu.