A family reunion is a wonderful event. It not only lets you catch up on what has been going on since you last got together, it brings back the great memories of the time you had together.
The Pan American Center was host to a family reunion, Aug. 23, when the NMSU volleyball team played its alumni game. A dozen or so former players came back to compete and reconnect with their friends, fans and current team members. The alumni gave this year’s edition of Aggie Volleyball a run for its money as well, taking two of the four games into the 20s before it ended.
It wasn’t just former stars that returned, past Aggies who played reserve roles came out along with moms and pops of players from the past. The alumni were made up mostly of Jordan teams with Senior Woman’s Administrator Maria Roth joining in too. Roth has still got it as she scored a couple of points on spikes at the net.
The alum that came the furthest was Amanda Olivas. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Olivas now works in the hospital industry in Richmond, Va. Along side her was Angela Lobendahn-Peterson, who made the trip from Utah. Newlywed Jackie Godber-Tooley, in from Orange County, showed she still can fly around the court as the team’s libero. Godber-Tooley was a team spirit leader during her day as well. Transplanted Texans Morgan Reader and Stevi Adams from Dallas and Houston, respectively, were on hand along with Jordan Bostic, Kim Oguh, Anna Callis and Briana Akrie from last year’s team joining in. Although she didn’t play, Shari Hearne-Spolar coached from the bench. She is expecting her first child later this year.
The stories were flowing like spring water down a mountainside. The championship games versus Western Kentucky, the first-ever NCAA berth and all of the fun and pranks that figured into the years they worked and played together. This type of reunion is the stuff that traditions are made from. Aggie volleyball has gone to the next level under Mike Jordan and the fact that players are willing to come back from each coast just to be a part of it all says a lot for what is going on in the program.
A Ring of Honor induction takes place the weekend of Sept. 6 with three deserving women receiving the inauguration for their achievements. Fans who want to attend the Ring of Honor luncheon should contact Bump Elliott and that night the Aggies play Texas on the Pan Am parquet. Yep, a family reunion is a special time with special people. If you missed this one, be around for the Ring of Honor ceremony.