HSE Has a Volleyball Team, and You Can Join
Did you know that HSE has a volleyball team? Read on to find out how it all started, why students, alumni, and teachers play, and how to join.
How it all began
The HSE volleyball team has existed for more than 10 years. It was founded in 2006-2007 and initially competed in student intercollegiate tournaments in Moscow. ‘We had a really nice friendly team, and we were the ones who really brought HSE its first volleyball victories,’ recalls Pavel Murygin, a graduate of the Faculty of World Economy and ex-captain of the university team. But HSE students don’t remain students forever; one player graduated and went into business, another stayed at HSE but went on to become an instructor. The team, therefore, no longer was able to play in student competitions.
But they still wanted to play, and a solution soon presented itself: the Amateur Volleyball League (or in Russian, ‘Liubitelskaya voleibolnaya liga’—LVL for short). In order to participate in the LVL, players founded another team in addition to the student one, so both students and alumni could play. Alexander Lutonin took on the role of the team’s coach, and they didn’t tarry over finding a clever name—soon team ‘Vyshka’ (HSE) was born.
Sports don’t get in the way of your studies
Why, even after graduation, do so many people continue to play volleyball at HSE? ‘It’s a really nice way to unwind, a way to add some variety to your routine,’ explains Alexey Pleshkov. ‘And it only helps with your studies. Moreover, it allows you to meet people from other faculties at HSE and make some good friends. For example, I’m still friends with people I met 12 years ago and don’t even study with anymore.’
But how do they find time for volleyball? Alexander Lutonin is confident that it’s easy: ‘If you’re an HSE student and 2 hours a week of practice seems like it will get in the way of your studies, I don’t think studying at HSE is going to work out for you. Because that means the problem is with you.’ A desire to do something, as we know, comes with a thousand opportunities, while an unwillingness to do something comes with a thousand excuses.
First of all, it is a beautiful and dynamic sport that develops your attention, quickens your reflexes, and improves your physical capabilities. And you can play it right here on campus. And secondly—but no less important—volleyball helps you become a part of the university community, even if you’re no longer officially a campus member.
‘There are various tools and organizations in HSE that allow alumni to socialize with students,’ says Pavel Murygin. ‘But sports are a no less important way for people of different ages to come together.’ Alexey Pleshkov adds, ‘It seems to me that at HSE we have a special ethos thanks in part to the interaction between different generations of students, among other things. And volleyball provides a great opportunity for candid communication between different kinds of people. Guys who are first-years, second-years, and third-years come to the team and see not only their friends, but alumni who work in large companies or teach at the university or are opening their own businesses—people who you can talk to, get advice from, or even help you get an internship somewhere.’
HSE vs. the veterinarians
But of course volleyball, after all, is a sport—and in sports you can’t get by without rivalry. Very unexpectedly, at some point the Veterinarian Academy team became HSE’s main rival. ‘A judge of one of our “derbies” was the veterinarians’ team coach himself, who actually plays football. And there were moments when he would whistle and do hand signals, which we don’t have in volleyball,’ laughed Alexander Lutonin. ‘We asked the other team what they meant, and they said that they also don’t always understand him—they just care whether he gives them the ball or not.’
How to join
There is a men’s team and a women’s team. To join one of the teams, you just need to go to one of the practices, the time and place of which can be checked here (schedule in Russian). Bring athletic shoes and clothes with you. Anyone who wants to join can try out for the team. For HSE students and alumni it is free.
Author: Lena Malakhova
Photographer: Oleg Mitriushkin