Volleyball on the East Coast? At Harvard? Don't laugh...junior Vince Marin, captain of the Harvard's men's volleyball team, doesn't think it's a joke.
Three years ago, Marin made a big decision in his athletic career, jumping from the hotbed of volleyball (California) to Harvard. In the Golden State, volleyball is a way of life.
Out here, the words "kill, dig, and spike" mean nothing more than, well, "Kill, dig, and spike." The sport is primarily summertime recreation.
The San Diego-native knew that volleyball would not get the same attention in the East as it does in the West, but made the trip anyway. Books, not sports, drew him to Cambridge.
"Academics made it my decision, but I wanted to get away from California and figured my college years were the best time to do it," Marin says.
Nevertheless, his decision benefited his athletic career as well.
"Here I'm a big fish in a little pond. I have more opportunity to play. I'm not just a helper. I'm an integral part of the team," Marin says.
Even though Marin's role on the team improved with his move to the East Coast, the Leverett junior says his sport still suffers from problems at Harvard. The team, he says, is often overlooked by both fans and the athletic administration.
Marin thinks a large part of the problem is not a lack of interest, but a lack of information. "A lot of people don't even know we have a team," he says.
He also thinks that the team does not get the respect it deserves from the University.
"The women's rugby club got a coach before we did," he says. "We're in our infancy stages here." But that infant, Marin says, is finally on its way to maturity. He thinks it's just a matter of time before the situation improves on campus.
But that infan, marin says, is finally on before we did," he says. "We're in our infancy stages here."
"We had a lot of support this year as opposed to previous year. We actually had spectators this year. We used to just have some guys' parents and girlfriends," he adds.
The increasing stature of the sport at Harvard reflects a trend across the East Coast.
"Volleyball is a young sport on the East Coast, but it's slowly developing into it's own," he says.