I dropped by the North Florida-FIU sand volleyball exhibition Monday to shoot photos for a piece on the team that we had planned to run later this week, right before the American Volleyball Coaches Association Collegiate Nationals. Though my best Herald photo credits come from disasters -- massive car crashes, storm-razed Blue Monster scoreboards and television towers, the first quarter crowd at November's Marshall-FIU football game -- I figured I could save our stretched photo staff a trip to Camp Mitch.
After an hour of shooting, I left, planning to return Tuesday to talk to folks for the story. Got the word via e-mail around 3:30 that stated Coach Rita Buck-Crockett "will have practice closed to ALL MEDIA tomorrow due to the fact that she wants the team focused on Nationals with no distractions."
The team leaves Wednesday morning.
Looking at the e-mail recipients, "ALL MEDIA" apparently means me and a member of FIU Student Media, which made the capitalization all the more amusing. I'd gauged from the vibe at the courts that certain volleyball folks weren't happy I pointed out the whole gofundme.com thing, which is kind of strange. They created the page, they promoted it on social media and still have said page up there, presumably so more people will see it and pony up bucks for the program.
Or maybe some other folks aren't happy.
"Whaaatever," (said in Squidward voice). That's why there won't be a story in The Herald on the closest thing FIU will have to a national championship team this year as that team goes to the national championship tournament.
Anyway, good luck to Marina Boulanger and Jessica Gehrke, the No. 1 pair; No. 2 pair Tina Toghiyani and Aren Cupp; No. 3 pair Maja Rosko and Camila Rosado; and the rest of the team this weekend.