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Sarah Lawrence College Plays On With Coed Team

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The pandemic has forced a lot of colleges to make cuts to their sports programs. But one school found a way to play on by combining their efforts. CBS2's Steve Overmyer reports.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: The pandemic has forced a lot of colleges to make cuts to their sports programs.

MAURICE DUBOIS: But one school found a way to play on by combining their efforts. CBS 2's Steve Overmyer has the story.

DAVIS MATHIS: Volleyball to me, I think it's underrated, especially as a spectator sport.

SOVANNY EBBESEN: It's like more-- a more intense version of don't let the ball hit the ground.

DAVIS MATHIS: It's really fast. It feels fast and hard-hitting, and intense.

SOVANNY EBBESEN: Hitting as hard as you can, throwing your body at the ground, giving everything you can for your teammates.

STEVE OVERMYER: The word "teammates" is not gender specific, fitting for a team made up of women and men.

DAVIS MATHIS: It doesn't feel too different from a normal season, to be honest. You know, it feels like playing with women would.

STEVE OVERMYER: Instead of canceling volleyball this year, Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville combined the men's and women's teams. This coed group of 10 women and four men are playing exclusively against men's teams. The NCAA believes this is a first.

NATE DAVIS: I think the guys have learned more from the women in terms of ball control, and how to play volleyball, pretty much top to bottom.

STEVE OVERMYER: In this game, they're playing against a front line that averages 6 feet 7 inches tall. The men's game is more powerful, but the women's game is built on chemistry and teamwork.

SOVANNY EBBESEN: If you just recorded our side of the net, you would think we would win every point.

STEVE OVERMYER: They've only played a handful of games this year, and while they're not winning, it's not a blowout, the average score being 25-15. In a year where programs are being cut, getting on the court is its own victory.

- I think we all just love volleyball so much, that we're happy to play no matter who it is.

DAVIS MATHIS: It's exceeded my expectations for sure. It's the reason that I'm back on campus, and not doing Zoom school.

STEVE OVERMYER: The women are playing on a net eight inches higher than they're used to, and against competition that's taller by a foot. These men and women will continue to play as a unit, feeding off each other's energy.

DAVIS MATHIS: When we're in practice, it doesn't feel like girls and boys on a men's team. It just feels like a team that's playing together.

STEVE OVERMYER: And together, their games will go on. In Bronxville, Steve Overmyer, CBS 2 News.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Mm, underlying theme, there, I think, for everyday life. Coming together--

MAURICE DUBOIS: Making it happen, right?

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Making it happen.

MAURICE DUBOIS: And make it better too.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Making it work, yep.

MAURICE DUBOIS: Yep.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: That's going to--