Omega Phi Alpha’s 3rd annual mud volleyball tournament raised money for heart health Saturday while adhering to COVID-19 social distancing and capacity guidelines.
Emma Koerner, chair of Omega Phi Alpha’s “Serving Up Hope,” said the yearly event benefits the Hope Heart Institute, a non-profit organization committed to preventative heart disease research.
Koerner said that this year’s event was a little difficult due to the reduced number of spectators allowed to attend, a capacity that was set at 50 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’ve had to change the way we get people to come,” Koerner said. “We’re like okay, you’re gonna have to wear a mask and you’re gonna have to socially distance and leave and come back, but it’s still going to be fun.”
According to Koerner, the situation could have been a lot worse: there’d been talks of not having the event at all or having to postpone. Koerner said that people always need help, people are constantly having cardiovascular issues and constantly need the support the Hope Heart Institute provides.
Lydia Proffitt, junior math major and member of Omega Phi Alpha’s WKU chapter, came to play in Saturday’s games.
“It’s for a good cause and we work really hard for this philanthropy and it’s great to raise money for them but it’s also a fun way to do it,” Proffitt said.
Proffitt said the best part of mud volleyball for her is that it’s not so serious, everyone is slipping and sliding and having a good time.
After playing in the tournament last year, Proffitt could see a difference from the event pre-pandemic.
“There are less people watching the games and getting to cheer on their teams, so that part’s definitely different,” Proffitt said. “I think we’ve done a good job trying to acclimate to new conditions and keeping everybody safe.”
Lauren Thieneman, a junior marketing major, represented Kappa Delta on the mud during Serving Up Hope.
“I feel our philanthropy week is such a big deal on the campus and so when other organizations have their philanthropy weeks we really want to show our support,” Thieneman said.
After her game against Sigma Phi Epsilon, Thieneman’s clothes were splattered in mud, a sign of a game well played.
“I always tell myself I’m not gonna dive, and then I just do it on instinct,” Thieneman said. “I think it’s fun to see all the mud and be your hard work and it looks physical.”
Abbey Nutter can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @abbeynutter.