Creighton’s club sports have en- joyed a year of success, featuring championships, first-time teams and national rankings. According to the Division of Student Life, nearly 500 students participated in club sports across 18 teams last year.
Most notably among this year’s club sports accomplishments was women’s volleyball’s Copper Flight National Championship victory this past weekend in Denver, Colorado. This is the second championship in a row for the team, despite early tournament struggles.
Team captain Cassie Elliott, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, credited a united team effort on the last day to deliver Creighton the championship. “We struggled the first few days at the nationals tournament, but the last day we came together as a team to win our bracket. Each member of the team stepped up and helped the team win,” Elliott said.
New to Creighton’s club sports scene, baseball finished the season undefeated in conference play and were ranked as high as 16th in the country. Their first home conference game was called in the third inning with the Bluejays up 26-0.
Creighton has thorough procedures for bringing student clubs to campus. Captain Danny Fafinski, a senior in the Heider College of Business, attended meetings with CSU, appropriations committees and other university administration to make club baseball a reality.
That’s not to mention holding his own meetings and information sessions to determine if there was sustainable interest for club baseball on campus. There was, and Fafinski saw almost 50 people show up to tryouts, nearly double the 25 they kept for the final roster.
Despite their statistical success, Fafinski finds greater satisfaction in how far the new team has come in terms of bonding and compatibility on and off the field.
“The most rewarding part for me is just to see the guys come together as a group. Early on we all kind of started as strangers and none of us really knew each other, and now I would like to consider them all my friends... That off- the-field chemistry has translated into on-field chemistry.”
club Quidditch team offers students the opportunity to engage in a completely new sport.
Club Quidditch first came to Creighton three years ago, and ac- cording to captain Bailey Braun, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, every member of the teams’ first time playing was at club tryouts.
Despite its new arrival on cam- pus and in popular culture, the team has still been successful, qualifying for the national tournament the last two years.
“Quidditch is pretty rare to see below the collegiate level, so a lot of our success as a team comes down to returning players being able to teach the new players the rules and little quirks of the game. Since we were able to qualify for Nationals with 10 new players, I really believe our success came from the players coming together and learning from each other,” Braun said.
While these athletes don’t com- pete for Division 1 stardom, all the captains agree that club sports provide valuable opportunities for friendship, competitive play and leadership experience for the hun- dreds of participants of all levels of skill and experience.