When I was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, we had to take five credits' worth of physical education classes. You could achieve this by taking single-credit classes like "Volleyball I" and "Volleyball II" (or perhaps it was "Introduction to Volleyball" and "Intermediate Volleyball"), and so on, and so on. Or you could take a class called "Fitness for Life" that would knock out almost all your physical education requirements in one class... a class that consisted of running, running, and more running. (And a bit of dry heaving into the bushes at intervals during and after the running.)
I stupidly signed up for "Fitness for Life" in the winter quarter of my second year and almost didn't get credit for it -- I was routinely staying up until 2 am playing poker and such and the class called on me to be at the PE building at 7:50 in the morning three days a week to run. I slept right through my alarm on enough occasions that technically I should have been booted out of the class, but a pathetic appeal to the instructor got me one last chance. I never did get to be a good runner but I survived.
This left me with one credit left to take (if I recall correctly), which I satisfied by signing up for whatever
they called the first-level volleyball class. I'd been playing volleyball now and then with friends and had moved on from "totally awful" to "not 100% bad" and figured I might as well take a class I wouldn't completely
embarrass myself in.
Our class was led by a graduate student who had been on the UGA volleyball team, a blond Amazon who frankly looked like she could crush beer cans against her forehead with one hand. It was a coed class and sometimes met indoors and sometimes met on the outdoor courts over by the lake. There were plenty of nice-looking members of the opposite sex in the class, but then as now I had no real idea how to make a good impression on an attractive woman. I tended to show up for class wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, unshaven, and as far as the volleyball went, I'd do about as well as anyone and better than some.
My one skill in volleyball was serving; unlike our instructor, who did a booming overhand serve that was extremely hard to return, I developed a little 'dink' serve where I would just bap the ball over the net with an underhand strike -- going fairly high up and then dropping back down just
on the other side of the net.
I knew I wasn't totally awful when I took my turn serving at the start of a match and served fifteen consecutive times -- three or four times the other team got the ball back to us, only to fail on the ensuing volley, and the other times they didn't manage to return it at all. The ball would come dropping down on the players standing facing the net and they'd almost invariably swat at it and send it right into the net. Twice they didn't even manage to lay a hand on it and it landed right between two of 'em.
Bit by bit the score crept up: "10 serving 2", "11 serving 2", until finally "14 serving 2". They sent that ball right into the net and the game was over -- and people stood around going "what? the game's over? what happened?"
I don't think anyone in our class had seen that happen before -- a game that went so quickly with nary a spike or a set. I had to say "No, really, the game's over."
I'm quite sure that I'd have been eaten for lunch by any moderately competent women's rec league, but as far as our gaggle of UGA undergraduates went, I was, as our Amazon of an instructor came over to tell me after the match, "not half bad."
I kind of miss the opportunity to get involved in team sports like that. When I worked in Blacksburg as a graduate student at Virginia Tech, we had some incredibly popular co-ed volleyball leagues at the town community center and I kept going "I should sign up." Never did, though. Pity. Now that I'm in a job that involves so much travel, week in and week out, I can't really get involved in a rec league. Wish I could.