An Akron Sand Volleyball Love story

Over the past 7 years that we’ve been running leagues, there have been countless new friendships and connections made. Is there a better way to blow off steam after work and meet new like-minded friends than playing together on a team? We don’t think so.

We have seen participants celebrate major life events such as graduations, marriages, and welcoming new members to their families. When we heard that a couple that has played with us since day 1 is not only expecting their first child together, but they also met in our leagues, we had to know more… Below is some Q&A with Josh and Tessa about how their common interests, serendipitous timing, and playing volleyball together led them to the most exciting bump off the court yet!

How did you two meet?

Josh: My coworkers and I have played volleyball in the Summit Sports & Social leagues from the very beginning! One such co-worker was Kevin Hill, who is now a great, great friend. Kevin, being the good-looking man that he is, has a lovely wife…Jamie…

Tessa: I had just started a new job in 2018 and overheard my co-worker Jamie Hill talking about putting together an indoor volleyball team, and I mentioned that I liked to play if they needed another person. 

Josh: And that is how Team Chewblockya was formed! They ended up needing one more and Kevin invited me to play! We played our first ever session as a team in the Fall of 2018, and that was the very first time we were ever introduced.

 

Tessa & Josh’s first selfie together. Team PEG (Pritt Entertainment Group) takes a selfie after every weekly match concludes. 

How did your friendship end up becoming more of a serious relationship?

Tessa: Funny story actually… I recruited Josh, Jamie, and Kevin to join my sand team at another league (that we shall not name). From there we decided we liked playing at Summit better and rolled back into another winter indoor session. I used wanting more court time as an excuse to come sub for his work team that he also plays on (PEG Bump), which led to pre/post-game beers and conversation. The fall after we met we really hit it off and the rest is history. 

Josh: Basically everything Tessa said! She became an Honorary PEG (Pritt Entertainment Group) team member by subbing every week, and each week I would buy her drinks at Eighty-Three Brewing (big shout out to those guys, best beer in Akron.) and as time went on we became extremely close. I invited her to the PEG Christmas party, and I think solely for my volleyball skills she gave me a chance.

What do you do for fun outside of leagues? 

We are both pretty boring outside of being all-star volleyball players! We both read a ton, if anyone ever wants book recommendations, feel free to ask! We love fishing and spending time with our dogs. Tessa loves mowing the yard more than I think any sane person could, and Josh loves puzzles and video games. When we look at how much time we spend playing in your leagues, it really does shake out to about half of what we do in a week. Of all the things listed, I think we would both agree that volleyball is our number one hobby. 

Tessa’s biggest catch (Besides Josh)

Any funny stories from your time playing together?

Although we love playing 6s, last summer we thought we’d give playing 2s a shot. We played in one tournament put on by Summit and while we had fun, we got absolutely decimated. Lost every game straight. Guess it’s a good thing the baby makes 3 of us because we definitely suck at playing 2’s. 

If any of you followed along with Logan’s hilarious coverage of the bat incident at Andrew’s house earlier this summer, we unfortunately also had several bats in our home last year. Following a night down at the courts playing volleyball, one bat was discovered in the house after being inside for a couple of days. At the advice of our doctor, we had to each get the rabies vaccine series. 0/10 would not recommend. (But for real if you have a bat in the house seek medical advice and keep it for rabies testing by the health department if possible). 

How has volleyball and/or SS&S helped you individually and as a couple? 

Volleyball has only made us stronger as a couple. We have so much fun playing together and look forward to it every week. We can have a tough night on the courts and lose all our games but still have had fun and go home happy that we showed up and played. 

What is your favorite part of Summit Sports & Social’s leagues?

Honestly, our favorite part of these leagues is the community that comes with it. We love coming up to the courts every week and seeing all the new and familiar faces, so many of our new friends come from these leagues. In our experience other leagues we’ve played in sometimes have too much arguing and poor sportsmanship. The atmosphere at SS&S is always friendly and fun…unless Andrew stops playing music and then we are all pure savages. The courts both in Akron and Medina are in great shape and the email updates are always guaranteed to make us laugh. Andrew and Logan have really created something special with this organization and we are grateful to have met because of it.

 

What has you most excited about parenthood?

Josh: The first thing I am excited about is finding out the gender! You can see in the picture that we have a onesie for either outcome and this whole “Let’s make it a surprise” thing is killing me! I probably say 5 times a day that I am so excited just to meet this little nugget. I can’t wait for all the things that come with being a dad, I am just so excited for all of it. It is almost insane to try and list all of the things I am excited about because it is literally every step of the process.

Tessa: I am also excited to find out the gender! Josh is team girl and I am team either gender! We’ve reached the phase of our lives where many of our friends are also having kids, and seeing them grow and learn is so much fun. I am excited for all the little and big things in the years to come. And to hopefully raise a kid that enjoys playing volleyball as much as we do.  

Do you still plan to play in the leagues after the little one arrives?

Really easy answer here… YES! This will require some finagling with childcare that we did not have to consider before, but we love the game so much that we definitely are going to find a way to make it work. Odds are one night you may see Josh with our child in one arm and the scoreboard on the other, and vice versa a couple of nights later. One way or another we will be at the courts!