No spectators? No problem!

Volleyball team inspired to make spectators


Mary Kate Feilke

Viviana Carrasco and Emily Sadorf stay socially distant while posing with the cardboard cutouts they made.

Mary Kate Feilke, Sports Section Editor

With volleyball being the only fall Mount athletic program indoors, the seniors on the squad needed to get creative to improve morale on the court. Their solution: making cardboard cutouts of the team’s favorite celebrities.

“I suggested actually making them [the cutouts] during a practice while we were serving one day,” says Viviana Carrasco ‘21.

These cutouts, affectionately nicknamed the “spectators” by the team, feature familiar faces such as Harry Styles, Rudy Pankow, Ross Lynch, and Matthew Gray Gubler. When they are not smiling next to the players on the bleachers, these celebrity cutouts reside in Athletic Director Janet Columbro’s office.

The seniors took charge in organizing this hilarious – yet genius – idea.

“Ainsley [Muhl] and Viv printed everything out, and then we all met at Viv’s house and put them together,” said Emily Sadorf ‘21.

The spectators were completed just in time for the team’s second home game of the season against Villa Maria; the rival team was sweeped by the Magic in three straight sets.

“The looks we got from the other teams were so funny,” said setter Allie McKnight ’21. After printing out pictures at Staples and utilizing cardboard box scraps, the seniors “divided up jobs and had people cutting the cardboard and pictures, hot gluing popsicle sticks together onto the cardboard, and sticking the pictures on with mod podge,” said Carrasco. All together, the process took about three hours.

In a normal season, the bleachers would have been filled with friends and family members cheering the team on. Since that was not possible this year, the spectators have certainly had a positive impact on the volleyball team’s game and the overall environment in the gym.

Sadorf said, “It was nice to have some company on the bench,” while defensive specialist Nicole Uzzo ‘21 jokingly remarked that, “Robbie Shapiro and Louis Partridge inspired me each game to leave it all on the court.”

The spectators provided the illusion of filled seats, where the players could decide who they wanted to sit with. Light laughs and refulgent smiles helped relax the players and encouraged them to consistently defeat their opponents; with their trusty spectators by their side, the Mount volleyball team (12-1 record) is now the AACA league champion. “Their presence [made] me feel more fundamentally sound,” Uzzo said.

With the season’s close one question remains: where are the spectators now? The seniors divided up the cutouts among themselves in a “draft pick,” said Uzzo. “After our last game, we went in a circle picking who we wanted,” McKnight said. Uzzo and Muhl keep them, “in the back of my trunk.” Carrasco, McKnight, and Sadorf prefer to keep them in their rooms. “They came to my birthday!” said Sadorf, who brought her cutouts of Leonardo DiCaprio and Rob Lowe to her eighteenth birthday party.

These spectators influenced the team in more ways than anyone could have imagined. Even head coach Amy Bergin holds a special place in her heart for the Robert Pattison cutout.  A once comical idea spiraled into the team’s favorite memory of this unexpected season.