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Los Alamitos Indoor Retreat Serves Volleyball Players


In Southern California, volleyball is primarily a summer beach sport.

But enthusiasts who want to play year-around, or after the sun goes down, can play indoors in Los Alamitos. The city's recreation department offers open gym volleyball twice a week, Tuesday and Sunday evenings, for $2 per session.

Sessions are open to players of all abilities on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A special session for advanced players is held Sundays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Participants must be 18 or older.

In summer, "You'll get the people who have been on the beach all day and want to keep going," said Jim Ivanick, adult sports coordinator for Los Alamitos.

The sessions are held in the gym of a closed junior high school. Two courts are open, and a maximum of 36 players can take part in any one session (allowing three teams of six to rotate on each court). Ivanick said the all-abilities sessions often hit their 36-player limit, while the advanced sessions typically draw between 12 and 25.

It's important to Ivanick that everyone gets a chance to play and that the better players don't show off in the all-abilities sessions.

"It's really recreation-oriented, so we want it to be kind of laid-back," he said. "We discourage teams from coming in and using this as a practice time."

The program started five years ago. Ivanick had planned to have it evolve into a league, but the open gym format has worked out well. The city once had open gym basketball but dropped it because there were too many arguments and fights among players.


A team of Orange County stockbrokers had a field day at the recent Mud Run at Camp Pendleton. They came in as the top civilian team and the second team overall, finishing ahead of 49 Marine teams.

How did the Marines feel about that? "I would say they were unhappy, and there were some drill commanders who were even unhappier," said Barry Migliorini. His teammates were Dreux Valenti, Bill Sayre, Sean Walker, Jim Maynard and Jan Maynard.

Competing as a corporate team, the brokers have won numerous local runs and triathlons. The 10K obstacle course at Camp Pendleton was a new experience, however.

"Brutal, in a word," Migliorini said. "It was the first time that any of us had ever tasted mud."

Those who want to give it a try, start getting ready: El Toro Marine Corps Air Station's mud run is coming up in about four months.

* What: Open gym volleyball.

* When: Tuesdays, 7 to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

* Where: Oak Academy Gym, 10824 Oak St., Los Alamitos.

* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego Freeway north to the San Gabriel (605) Freeway north. Exit east at Katella Avenue and turn left at Oak Street. The gym is on the left, behind the community center.

* Wherewithal: $2 per session.

* Where to call: (714) 827-9010.

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