April 23, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Over 170 teams organized into 12 divisions competed in the University of New Mexico volleyball team's seventh annual Grass Bash held April 20-21 on Johnson Field.
It was one of the largest reported turnouts for the perennial event which unofficially serves as the kickoff for the outdoor volleyball season in the Albuquerque area.
Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson says it's been fun to watch the event grow each year.
"We started this my first spring here (2007), and yesterday (Saturday) for the men's, women's and youth divisions we had huge turnouts," Nelson said. "Our 16-and-under division was the biggest it's ever been and our Women's A division was the biggest it's ever been."
The Lobos set up 35 courts early Saturday morning to accommodate the roughly 130 teams that made up the men's, women's and youth divisions. Sunday was a bit smaller with 40 teams competing in four co-ed divisions.
Among the participants were current and former Lobos, coaches and staff as well as local volleyball enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.
"It's exciting to see that many people out playing," Nelson said. "It's fun to see all the youth not just playing indoor, but coming out and getting in on some of the outdoor volleyball as well."
Lobo volleyball will donate $5,500 to UNM's Children's Hospital thanks to the two-day event.
"It's a good excuse for people to get out and enjoy the nice weather," New Mexico volleyball director of operations Jordie Hadfield said. "There are bragging rights at stake and many businesses around Albuquerque have very generously donated prizes that we give out to the winners of each division.
"Almost all of the money we raise goes to the UNM Children's Hospital and we've been told that every penny helps."