Fort Benning now has two women’s volleyball leagues at Smith Fitness Center. Open to military spouses, retirees, family members, DoD civilians and Soldiers, the leagues are in response to customer requests, said Willie Spann, sports coordinator of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Sports.
The “black” and “gold” leagues began regular play April 14 and will continue through Thursday.
Madelaine Malakai, who plays for the Hard Knocks of the black league, said she was excited when she found out about the women’s league.
“It gives military wives something active to do,” said Malakai, who played volleyball when she was in high school. “I think this is a league that’ll stay really popular at Fort Benning.”
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Stephanie Julca, another member of Team Hard Knocks, said she was pleasantly surprised at the level of play.
“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started playing, but I really like it,” Julca said. “There is tough competition.”
Pele Ioane said the league is a great social outlet and a good beginning.
“I have met many new people,” said Ioane, a military spouse who plays for the Island Girls team of the black league.
“There are a lot of teams in the league, but I would like to see more in the future.”Spann said he is happy with the turnout and hopes the leagues will grow next season. Spann said the women’s league will become a staple of sports activities at Fort Benning because many customers have expressed interest in playing in the league.Spectators are welcome to come and watch.
The teams play their last matches of the season on Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. at Smith Fitness Center.