Ashley Medina of Taylor (top) a member of the Mudginas Dirty Duders team, dives to make a save at the Taylor Mud Volleball Tournament at Heritage Park. Above, Steve Pedley of Taylor laughs during the action. Cheyenne York of Taylor (below) returns one for the Muddy Mudpies.
TAYLOR — For the third time in five years, Team Clean made mud of its competition to win the 22nd annual Taylor Mud Volleyball Tournament at Heritage Park.
The six-member team went undefeated July 10, taking five straight games in pool play and then winning three more times in the playoffs, including a decisive 15-4 victory over Mudginas Dirty Duders.
The Dirty Duders, who eliminated the defending champion Dirt Digglers in pool play, finished second in the tournament for the second straight year.
Team Clean has been in the tournament for about 16 years, winning in 2006, 2008 and 2010. This year’s lineup of Mark and Lisa Sikorski of Southgate, Sandy Ybarra of Brownstown Township, Sara Vierk of Wayne and Wendy and Chris White of Westland was the same as the 2008 championship team.
Mark Sikorski said the addition of Ybarra, who was unable to play last year, made a difference in the outcome.
“Sandy told us to be strong, cool, calm and relaxed and to play our position,” Sikorski said. “It made sense. We stayed cool and calm, we did play our positions and ended up winning.”
Sikorski, 42, said he personally felt inspired to play after being challenged by wife Sara.
“My wife said we’re getting too old to win,” Sikorski said. “We had to prove her wrong.”
Team Clean plays in only one mud volleyball tournament a year. Sikorski said the teammates do play some indoor and sand volleyball.
The Dirty Duders also went unbeaten in pool play before falling twice to Team Clean in the double-elimination playoffs.
The members of the second-place team were Angie and Ashley Medina, Randy and Rachael Schliewe, Dustin Arbogast and Jeff Zukowski. The Medina sisters live in Taylor. The Schliewes are former Taylor residents now living in Dearborn Heights. Arbogast also lives in the Heights and Zukowski resides in Woodhaven.
“That’s two years in a row we fell short,” said Randy Schliewe. “You can’t win them all. We’ll be back strong next year,
that’s for sure.”
Both teams complimented one another on ability and sportsmanship.
The tournament is always a sellout. The 36 teams were divided into six pools. Eighteen played round-robin games in the morning. The other 18 played in the afternoon. The winners of the six pools advanced to the double-elimination playoffs.
The other pool winners were Falcon Punch, which finished third in the tournament, Gump Set Spike, Dirty Muddy Brown Eye and Dirty Laundry.
Tournament director Chris Schwartz of the city’s Department of Golf, Parks and Recreation said the event provided family fun entertainment. He said the competitive tournament was a great spectator sport.