Volleyball Feature - Pembroke Hall - Bringing the Noise
Bringing the Noise
By Donny Turnbaugh
When the Belmont women's volleyball team took the court against Evansville on Tuesday night, the Curb Center was full of noise in hopes of giving the team home-court advantage. It was more than coaches relaying plays and student-athletes high-fiving after a Jen Myer ace. The majority of the noise was coming from a group of Belmont students dressed up in Halloween costumes designed for someone half their size.
The rowdy bunch are tenants of Pembroke Hall, the all-male freshmen dorm located right in the heart of campus. And like the many Pembroke occupants before them, they are the unofficial, official cheering section for the women's volleyball team.
"We love this team and love coming to games to support them," said Super Riley – Riley Hutchins is his day-to-day name; Super Riley is his superhero alter ego.
This game isn't their first rodeo; the enthusiastic group has been to all of the Bruins' home games this year dressed alike in hopes of meeting a certain theme. Tuesday night was Superhero Night but they have also done Pajama Night, Fantasy Night, Beach Night, and Super Riley's favorite, Mardi Gras Night. "We all had matching masks and beads, it was a blast," Riley noted.
No one was certain, but the legend is that Pembroke Hall has been supporting the volleyball team since its inception in the early 90's. The tradition has been passed down every year to the new group of freshmen who begin their tenure at Belmont and the members of years past still come out for support.
When the game starts, it is more than just some guys dressed up going to watch Belmont athletics. They get into the action as well as the ambiance of the game. During breaks they collectively dance to whatever trendy song the band is playing and they enthusiastically take part in the serving contest.
But when the game is in progress they have chants. Lots of chants. When Evansville called their first timeout you could hear the superheroes chanting, "Think-it-over!" to a rhythmic beat. A Purple Ace had a service error that went right into the net and a booming call of "There's-A-Net-There!" came echoing through the arena.
Aside from service errors, any time there is a mistake made by the other team Pembroke does their favorite chant, which is calling out "Fun-Da-Mentals!" as the opposing girls huddle to go over what went wrong.
Individually, they all have their own cheers and calls to distract the other team. Flash – Brock Reese – squawks like a bird during serves and many of his peers claim it really does get into the heads of the opponent, causing them to have service errors. The God of Thunder: Thor – Jacob Dowser – swings his Hammer of Justice when Jen "The Hammer" Myer is serving for the Bruins. Right before the sophomore serves, the group yells, "HAMMER" and if it is an ace they jointly sing the chorus to Hammer Time by MC Hammer.
But this group are not just a bunch of crazed fans – well, maybe a little bit – they have a strong relationship with the volleyball team itself. To start the year, the girls helped move the freshmen into Pembroke so they could meet each other and see who would be on the sidelines for the year. To top it off, there was also a BBQ for both parties to enjoy. Even though Belmont fell to Evansville on Tuesday and emotions were running high, the team made sure to go over to the Pembroke boys to give them high fives and thank them for coming out to the game.
Like any good organization, the Pembroke Boys are looking at expansion. There were a few females mixed in to the crowd, cheering and doing what they could to psych-out the opponent while dressed as superheroes.
"While it's mostly Pembroke members, we welcome anyone else who wants to be a part of this," Quailman – Brook Warren – said. "We just want everyone to support the volleyball team and cheer them on as we do."
So make sure to be there for the game against Lipscomb on October 25th because Pembroke Hall will be pulling out all the stops for Halloween Night.