Off the beaten track

UT club sports offer students the chance to be involved

Jackson Rogers, Associate Sports Editor

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While they may not get the publicity of varsity sports, club sports at the University of Toledo are still a big part of the campus’s fabric. UT offers 22 club sports: eight offered for men, five for women and nine co-ed.

“I think that having club sports gives students opportunities to disconnect with the everyday college struggles,” UT men’s club volleyball president Keiichi Koshino said. “They’re able to enjoy a sport they love. Not only that but it gives students a sense of belonging and friendship that last throughout college and perhaps even longer”.

The men’s sports include baseball, bowling, lacrosse, soccer, ultimate frisbee, volleyball and wrestling. The women’s sports include bowling, lacrosse, soccer, ultimate frisbee and volleyball.

The co-ed sports include cross country and track, fencing, quidditch, rowing, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis and water polo.

The clubs compete against other universities, compete in a conference and practice several times a week. Anybody can join a club, giving students a unique opportunity to enhance their college experience.

Each club is given roughly a $60,000 budget to pay for travel costs, gear, etc. Most of the payments come from the players through dues and fundraising.

Clubs provide students a break from the rigors of class and studying to represent UT on various playing fields.

One of the older clubs on campus is men’s hockey. The hockey club was established in 1966, won their conference nine times, advanced to regionals three times and won a national championship in 1992.

The Rockets compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Their conference is called the Tri- State Collegiate Hockey League.

This conference includes the University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ohio University, University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University and Wright State University.

A newer club, established in 2016, is the men’s volleyball team. The team travels across the Midwest to compete in weekend-long tournaments against other universities of the same size.

“When I first came to college, I was very eager to play competitive volleyball at the collegiate level,” Koshino said, “I went to the Rec center to ask about men’s club volleyball and they said it didn’t exist. They then asked if I would be interested in starting and I denied it at first. It wasn’t until I started playing competitively at the rec when I started to wonder if I could start the program here at UT.”

During their first year in existence, the Rockets started off slow in their going 1-13. They improved vastly in year two with a 7-7 record and placed third in the silver bracket at the Division IAAA National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Our goal has always been to give students the opportunity to compete in collegiate volleyball,” Koshino said. “With that being said, our goal is to expand our program and to compete better.”

Club sports are an important part to UT’s campus with giving students opportunities to continue their passions through sports. With driven students leading the charge, UT’s sports clubs’ should have success for years to come.

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Off the beaten track