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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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College Station rec volleyball team fosters friendships

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Photo by Sara Lyon, JOUR 359 Contributor

Forensic and investigative sciences senior Emily Linhart serves during open gym on Nov. 14 at the Legends Event Center in Bryan. 

Ball Busters is the fall 2023 playoff champions in the City of College Station competitive adult rec volleyball league. Not only does Ball Busters play volleyball together, but the players agree that they have found community with one another, on and off the court.
After serving five seasons together, Ball Busters plans to register for a sixth season when spring 2024 signups open on Dec. 11. Ranging in age from 20 to 40, the Ball Busters team is an eclectic group of A&M students and faculty plus locals with a diverse mix of jobs.
Besides building a solid competitive team on the gym floor, the players described how different backgrounds and cultures haven’t kept them from finding friendships away from the gym.
Even after the city playoffs, players said they stay in touch during the offseason, often playing together during open gyms around College Station on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The only A&M student on the team, forensic and investigative sciences senior Emily Linhart said she played with team members at open gyms this past summer and then competed with Ball Busters during the fall 2023 season.
“We are all close friends, and playing volleyball with my team is the only thing I look forward to every week,” Linhart said. “Because I am constantly surrounded by A&M students, I tend to enjoy the different age groups and lifestyles that Ball Busters has to offer.”
Kristen Marrero, a setter for the Ball Busters, is a social worker for College Station. Spring will be her third season playing for Ball Busters. Marrero said she enjoys every aspect of her team.
“During our off-season, some of the team likes to watch other volleyball games or tournaments in town,” Marrero said. “I enjoy going out to dinner with my teammates and finding different authentic taco trucks in the area.”
Ball Busters head coach Emilio Hernandez said he finds time to play at open gyms with his team. Players credit Hernandez with bringing the team together as a family.
“Every day, I communicate with Emilio and find time to talk about volleyball or even just life,” Linhart said. “Emilio is the one who recruited me to join Ball Busters and become a part of a family.”
The City of College Station competitive adult rec volleyball spring 2024 season will open for registration from Dec. 11 through March 1, according to cstx.gov. Players from Ball Busters said they are always willing to meet new people and build relationships with anyone interested in playing volleyball.
Sara Lyon is an agricultural leadership and development junior and contributed this article from JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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