The 37th annual Waupaca Boatride volleyball tournament wrapped up on Sunday at Brighton Acres in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Boatride typically exceeds 1,000 teams, but this year as the county health department gave the tournament the go-ahead, it included the caveat that half of the courts be eliminated.
The tournament absorbed a further body blow when an unusually potent storm dumped nearly two inches of rain Thursday, prompting organizers to cancel Thursday’s play and move Friday’s divisions to Sunday.
Despite the pandemic and weather, participants were enthusiastic to play, as one of the few competitive outlets since the country closed down in March, even in a well-attended, questionably-distanced men’s and women’s finals.
One especially enthusiastic competitor was former Hawai’i setter Joe Worsley, now a professional setter heading to Germany in a little more than three weeks. Joe and his brother Gage, Dalton Solbrig, Chris Schafer, and Luke Lau won the men’s open triples division. If that seems like a lot of players for triples, well, it is. See yesterday’s piece for the details.
“Since a lot of things were shut down this summer, my brother and I heard that the tournament was still on, so we said, ‘We gotta go. It was a last minute decision with Dalton Solbrig, our other partner. He was the one that called and convinced us.
“This tournament is so cool. It’s an unbelievable experience. It’s the coolest volleyball tournament I’ve ever been to, for sure. Hands down. It’s got a great vibe, it’s totally different. Obviously winning makes things a lot better, obviously, but we’ve met a ton of new people, and we’re super-excited to come out this year.”
VolleyballMag.com photo editor Ed Chan waded through mud and puddles as he shot the tournament. Click on any thumbnail to view a photo at full size.