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Students get muddy for charity

Amy Klopfenstein | Monday, April 30, 2012

Hundreds of students got down and dirty during Muddy Sunday, Keenan Hall’s signature mud volleyball tournament, at White Fields in support of Habitat for Humanity.

Keenan president Dennis Smith said the eighth annual tournament raised nearly $12,000 for Habitat for Humanity and featured 180 teams of eight to ten players, the most in the history of the event.

However, Smith said the change in venue presented a challenge for the tournament. In previous years, the tournament took place behind St. Mary’s Lake, but Keenan was asked to hold the tournament in a different location, as it took a significant toll on the fields near the lake.  

Teams competed against each other in a round-robin tournament, with the undefeated teams advancing to the finals.

Returning champions Pups ‘n Suds won the tournament again this year and received Muddy Sunday tank tops as prizes. Sophomore Beth Meisinger, a member of Pups ‘n Suds, said she enjoyed the tournament’s combination of fun and philanthropy.

“It’s so much fun to play in the mud and support such a great cause,” she said.

Pups ‘n Suds won six consecutive games to win the championship. Freshman Ashley Veselik said the championship and the post-game shower were the highlights of the tournament.

Junior event organizer Tim Scott said he has been planning Muddy Sunday since the beginning of the school year and has been involved with the event since his freshman year.

“My favorite part is just watching it all happen. Everyone is having so much fun,” Scott said. “It’s fun to just come out and watch and play in the mud.”

Senior event organizer Mike Rodio also helped plan the event.

“I love dorm events that everyone gets involved in,” he said.

Sophomore Caroline Thompson, captain of Team ‘Murica, said she enjoys the ‘muddy’ aspect of the tournament.

“My favorite part is getting [dirty]” she said.

Scott said by advertising the tournament in the dining halls, it helped Keenan Hall spread the word about the tournament quickly throughout campus. He said he attributes the success of the tournament to one simple factor: fun.

“It’s the [most fun] day of the year,” Scott said.

After registration closed Friday night, Scott said he began creating brackets. Landscape Services tilled the fields and the Notre Dame Fire Department sprayed the fields to prepare the mud.

The tournament does generate some financial costs due to its size and scope, Scott said. Several nets broke during this year’s tournament, but the registration fees of two teams would cover the cost of replacing them. The other main cost of the tournament is re-seeding the fields with grass after the games.

Smith said the event is a hectic one to run, but ultimately paid off.

“The morning was one of the most hectic mornings we’ve ever had, but it’s looking better than ever now,” Smith said.