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Dodgeball takes over HSC

AOPI Dodgeball Tournament

Alpha Omicron Pi’s annual dodgeball tournament raises funds for Juvenile Arthritis Foundation

BY Jose Perez

On April 4, Alpha Omicron Pi hosted its annual “Strike Out Arthritis” dodgeball tournament on the Buckle Court located in the Health and Sports Center. Around 10 teams signed up for this popular event, which included current UNK Students going head-to-head. This popular tournament was held in double-elimination style, with all the games being five minutes long. 

Before students could participate in this event, each team was required to pay $30 as part of their official entry. All the proceeds for the event went toward the international philanthropy for Alpha Omicron Pi, the Arthritis Foundation. 

Lupe Perez, a UNK Sophomore from Ogallala, was one of the many students to take part of this famous UNK event. Perez was encouraged to be part of a dodgeball team that consisted of several Student Diplomats named “The Business Casualties”. 

“Honestly, I was very reluctant to be part of a dodgeball team. I severely lack coordination and athleticism in any sport.” Perez said. “But knowing what my donation was going towards and being able to spend time with my friends and being provided by free snacks from my boss, why wouldn’t I join?”

Perez and The Business Casualties were one of the many teams eliminated early in the competition. Despite having some amazing moments in all their games, the team made up of Student Diplomats was unable to progress in the first round after a defeat by the hands of Pi Kappa Alpha. 

Despite the early elimination, the unfortunate event did not ruin the spirit of fun for Perez and his teammates. 

“To be fair, no one in my team was expecting to get first place in tournament. Our main mission was to have fun. It would have been nice if my team won the competition, so we can display the trophy at the UNK Admissions Office.” Perez said.

On paper, dodgeball is the type of competition that is only meant for people with an athletic background. That is not the case for the tournament held at UNK. Over the years, members of Alpha Omicron Pi have encouraged many UNK Students to sign up for their event despite lacking the average credentials to compete in dodgeball. 

“I think students should participate in these activities because you meet so many amazing people and you are promised a good time,” Perez said. “A good cause, a fun time, and being a difference maker is what being a Loper is all about! Since my time at UNK, I strongly believe we have built a strong community where, whether we are fundraising for philanthropic organizations like this one, to just coming together to doing community service for the Kearney Community, we all come together.”

Allison Blum, a UNK senior from Wahoo, encouraged Perez and the other Student Diplomats from the Business Casualties team to sign up for the iconic event in the first place. Blum was also one of the many members from Alpha Omicron Pi that volunteered to help with the event that night. 

She did everything possible to make the event progress efficiently from cheering on every UNK Sstudent that was participating in the dodgeball tournament, to making sure all the balls used from the games were on the court if they were thrown out of the court. 

Fortunately for Blum, she had over 50 other members of Alpha Omicron Pi to help out with dodgeball competition. Since this sorority is known for recruiting so many members each school year at UNK, the Strike Out Arthritis event goes according to plan since so many members of the sorority are on the same page and communicate well during this hectic, yet amazing athletic event. As a result, Alpha Omicron Pi creates a great time every year for the participants and spectators in the Health and Sports Center. 

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