“Just for fun” turned into something so much bigger, when in 2013, a group of BYU-Idaho students started a men’s club volleyball team called The Lost Boys.
“The team started out purely just for fun,” said Deron Togo, a BYU-Idaho alumnus and former libero for The Lost Boys.
Now there are two men teams and one women’s team. They also changed the name to Ricks College and are apart of the Mountain West Conference of the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation, an organization where college volleyball clubs can compete against other teams from around the country. Ricks College volleyball plays all over the western region.
The University dropped collegiate sports teams back in 2001, so in order to be apart of the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation the club team could not be affiliated with the school.
The men’s blue team is currently ranked 14th in the country for Division II and the women are ranked third.
This past spring the women’s Ricks College volleyball club won the Mountain West Conference championship. Winning that tournament meant Ricks College volleyball club came out number one for the Mountain West Conference’s Division two.
Sabra Ross, a senior studying recreation management and the outside hitter for Ricks College club team and Most Valuable Player from the tournament explained the atmosphere of the championship game.
“It was nerve-racking,” Ross said. “We had a whole new team but we had done well that whole tournament. I’ve never been so hype for a game before. Our guy’s teams were on the sideline cheering for us. It was so loud in the gym.”
Cody Wong, a senior studying finance and setter for Ricks College volleyball, explained not only does the team have the opportunities to win tournaments, but they also have an opportunity to represent the standards Ricks College was known for and BYU-I still holds today.
“We try to establish the culture that BYU-Idaho expects from the students,” Wong said. “In my opinion, it helps us play better because we do hold ourselves to those high standards.”
Elise Worthington, a senior studying exercise physiology and libero for the women’s team explained how some teams notice the difference between Ricks College and other teams.
“At the last tournament, a team came up to us and said ‘we love playing you guys, you have a totally different vibe on the court,'” Worthington said. “Other teams know who we are and what we are representing.”
Ricks College volleyball started preparations for the upcoming season, officially starting in January. There are 12 players on the women’s team for this year, and 10-11 players on each men’s team. Many players from last year’s teams will be returning for the 2020 season. The men’s team is run by several players on the men’s Ricks College volleyball team, and Togo will once again be coaching the women’s club.
There are no official tryouts. The Ricks College club keeps an eye out typically during fall semester competitive volleyball to see if there are any players who stand out. Then if they are interested in having a player on their team they will invite them to come practice with them first.