DionRabouin.com (sort of)

VolleyBAALLLIN achieves immortality in ICLA Volleyball Tournament

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:48am
Los Angeles — The Ithaca College Los Angeles program crowned its 2007 Spring Volleyball Champions on Saturday as team VolleyBAALLLIN, composed of Dion Rabouin, Joel Felcher, Dan Bernstein and Bobby Nicolais, took home the coveted “Golden Volleyball” trophy. The team — which was only officially assembled the night before the tournament began — overcame incredible adversity, going undefeated, to win it all. They beat out team, “To Be Announced” in three games in the championship to claim the prize.

“Those guys were just amazing,” said TBA team member Evan St. George. “They must’ve all been all-state in high school because they were putting the ball wherever they wanted. They made it rain out there.”

TBA was without their fourth member, Joshua Corey, who chose to forego the tournament to spend the day with his mother, who was only in town for one day. Despite having to play the tournament short-handed the runners-up made no excuses, “Sure, we didn’t have Josh, but we beat all those other teams without him,” Michael Kolikowski of TBA said. “If we hadn’t run into VolleyBAALLLIN earlier in the tourney who knows what would’ve happened. When they embarrassed us the first time we played I think that just shot our confidence.”

Members of other teams were less graceful in defeat. Tim Reese and Colleen McAllister of another team went so far as to destroy the trophy while team member Dion Rabouin was out celebrating the win. While Reese denied that vandalism of the statue was intentional, McAllister admitted that it had been an act of intentional sabotage, stating, “It just wasn’t fair! They never even played our team and just because we got beat twice by a team with only three people on it, doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a shot at the championship. I just couldn’t look at it anymore.” McAllister then ran into a dark corner to cry all alone.

VolleyBAALLLIN’s championship was even more impressive because of the odds that they overcame. Mass heckling by team LAFD, who were eliminated after only two games of the double elimination tournament, turned out for the sole purpose of affecting VolleyBAALLLIN’s near perfect play. While teammates Marc Damico and Josh Salzman engaged in sardonic commentary on the sidelines, Chris Burt and Matt Ponichtera the team’s other members were seen making every possible effort to sway the victors’ Zen-like composure.

ICLA tournament referee Jon Bassinger-Flores even admitted to doing his best to sway the tournament’s outcome, “I did everything I could to keep them from winning,” Bassinger-Flores said. “I changed calls, I made up rules mid-way through the game, I pretended not to notice when the team that was playing them ran into the net. Hell, I even changed the score a couple times, but nothing I could do could stop these guys. They were just amazing.” Bassinger-Flores added, “It just really bothers me that the black kid won. I really hate black people.”

The tournament’s other referee Holly Pietromonaco admitted to other participants that she had reffed the tournament under the influence. Pietromonaco declined to comment, but after the trophy presentation she was seen wobbling over to a bush to vomit. She then rushed out onto the sand volleyball court and began screaming “Sanjaya!” for no apparent reason. She was escorted off the premises by Oakwood security.

Despite the controversy there was no doubt who the winners were. VolleyBAALLLIN came to the 2007 ICLA Volleyball tournament ready to do just what their name suggested, ball. They destroyed any and everyone that stood in their path and came away from the tournament with the game’s highest honor. The team’s name will be engraved in Ithaca’s plaque of champions and their team photo will be seen gracing the halls of the Pendleton Center. They achieved greatness that Saturday afternoon, greatness that no one can ever take away from them.


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