MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Despite coach's displeasure, some Cards stick with unique hair styles
Walton, however, approves of Steve Shondell hire for women's volleyball team
Senior Libero Billy Ebel only has a few matches left in his Ball State University uniform, and there was one thing he had to do before graduating:
Get a mohawk.
"[It's] just for fun this week," Ebel said. "I always told myself I would play three matches with it and I finally did it. So it's a bucket list for me — ‘Billy's Bucket List' I've got a couple of them."
On Monday Ebel was named the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Defensive Player of the Week for the fifth time this season. Ebel has earned the honor more than anyone else this season. Shaun Dryden of IPFW and Mik Berzins of Ohio State University are tied for second with two awards each.
"I'm honored," Ebel said. "But that's not something I strive for. That takes away from our team."
Ebel's mohawk is not the only unique hairdo on the team . Outside attacker Lee Meyer is now sporting a pony tail.
"At the start of the year I decided I would grow out my hair for Locks of Love," Meyer said. "It's an actual organization where you can donate your hair. It's donated to children that have cancer so they can have actual hair throughout their treatment."
In order to donate, Meyer must have a ponytail that's eight to ten inches long. Meyer has just gotten to ponytail length.
"I'm about seven or eight inches short," Meyer said. "It's pretty chaotic right now."
Not everyone is a fan of players using creative hair styles and one such person is coach Joel Walton.
"[I] don't like it," Walton said. "Anything that our guys do that I would conceive them saying, ‘Hey, look at me, I'm different from my teammates,' I don't approve of. We are a team and this is a team sport."
Ebel says he did not get the mohawk for attention.
"I didn't want to draw attention to myself," Ebel said on Saturday. "It's going to be gone this week."
Walton still sees it as a distraction on the court.
"If they play well they earn distinction by playing well in a match," Walton said. "That's where individual distinction comes. I don't like the mohawk. I would like to see him cut his hair, but I can't get him to do it, and I'm not yet willing to force him to do it."
What does Walton approve of?
Steve Shondell was hired by Ball State on Tuesday to fill the vacant coaching postion for the women's volleyball team. Shondell is the public address announcer for men's volleyball games.
"The amount of volleyball knowledge that's inside that man, I'm surprised he doesn't explode," Walton said of Shondell. "I'm just thrilled. I think it's a great hire. I know he's going to do a fantastic job leading our women's volleyball program."
Walton believes that Shondell will be able to build a solid fan base.
"He's also probably going to do a good job exciting Muncie not only about men's volleyball but kind of build bridges with other programs as well," Walton said. "[He's] just a great ambassador not only for the community but for volleyball in general."