The 11th Annual Midvalcre event generated $1,145 for the Wayne County Children's Library
Dozens of local volleyball enthusiasts recently gathered in Wayne County to compete in a friendly tournament and, at the same time, raise money for a good cause.
Under the direction of founder Andrew Murphy, 36 players took to the grass court hoping to be crowned either king or queen of the 11th Annual Midvalcre Tournament.
The event went down on Saturday, July 15 in Cherry Ridge. The tourney began as a friendly “backyard, pick-up” type of situation, but gradually grew into a well-organized event.
Now, it's something that volleyball players from all over the area look forward to with great anticipation.
“It was a great day,” said Andrew. “A lot of work goes into organizing this every year, but we have a lot of fun doing it.
“Special thanks to Donna Ortiz, who basically runs the tournament and to the Harmony Project for their generous donation.”
All Hail the King!
Action got underway at 10 a.m. and continued straight through until 7 p.m.
All told, there were 13 rounds of competition that culminated in the crowing of the king.
Games begin early in the day with teams of four battling one another in games to 15 points.
Following the first round, rosters are shuffled and different teams paired up. By the end of the tourney, individual players have spent hours on the court and accumulated points toward the individual crown.
For example, a player who's on teams that suffer a total of five losses is eliminated from contention. And, as the wins pile up for the better players, the field is slowly whittled down.
The tourney's tiebreaker is total points amassed by each player. A win is worth 15 points, while a loss brings with it whatever total that team managed to score in defeat.
“It's a really interesting matrix,” Andrew said. “This way, one dominant team just doesn't destroy everyone else. We get to see who the really good players are by how well the do with different teammates.”
This time around, the overall winner was Todd Peet of Greentown.
Former Wallenpaupack Area baseball standout Chris Ortiz, a two-time winner of the event himself, finished as runner-up.
Matt Janiga of Pittston powered his way to a third place showing. Janiga entered the 2017 tourney as defending champion.
On the women's side of the bracket, Honesdale's own Julia Pucci claimed the top spot. She made a run at becoming queen of the court, but a couple of losses late in the day resulted in a fifth place overall finish.
“It was definitely a long day, but it was so much fun,” Andrew said. “We witnessed some great, competitive volleyball.”
Tournament officials always select a local non-profit organization which will be the beneficiary of the day's proceeds.
This year, the Wayne County Children's Library was the recipient, which spawned this year's catch-phrase “One for the Books.”
The tournament raised more than $1,100, which was presented to the library by Andrew Murphy and happily accepted by Betty Lawson.
“I'd like to say thank you to everyone who took part in the tournament,” Betty said. “This was a total team effort on their part and I really appreciate it.”
According to Lawson, the money will be used to help finance the library's Outreach Program, which targets local children.
“It's something that's near and dear to my heart,” Betty said. “It helps children who, for whatever the reason, may not have access to books or even any books in their house.”
In years past, the group has also made donations to a breast cancer awareness group, an autism awareness group and The Cooperage in Honesdale.