Ladies only

They kicked the guys out 20 years ago. That was when you could tell that the Wild Walleyball Women of Waynesboro were getting serious.

“Twenty years is a long time,” said Tuck Rogers, one of the founding members of the walleyball club, which can actually trace its roots back 21 years, first playing together on the racquetball court at the Waynesboro YMCA in 1989.

The original three – Rogers, Jan Leeth and Sue Pauly – met while talking a walleyball class being offered at the Y. They stuck it out in the class for men and women for a few months before deciding “that we didn’t really need to pay to take lessons anymore,” Leeth said.

They recruited a couple of friends to go all-women “because the men were too competitive,” Leeth said. “We just wanted to come and relax and have a good time.”

“So we kicked them out,” Rogers said.

The Wild Walleyball Women of Waynesboro in action

The group has grown to its current 10 members, who meet most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for walleyball, a version of volleyball played on a racquetball court that brings the walls of the court into play on shots.

The ladies have formed a strong bond off the court, hosting dinners and holiday events together and traveling to New York, Chicago and Italy, among other locales.

They make it a point to wear their team T-shirts – which advertise them as the Wild Walleyball Women of Waynesboro – “and sometimes we get asked if we’re a traveling team,” team member Sue Woodworth said.

“And of course we say yes,” Rogers said.

The team wants to build a next generation of Wild Walleyball Women.

“We need younger people to start coming in. Maybe to form their own group with each other. Because they’ll probably be at the same point in their lives as we were when we started,” Leeth said.

It’s about walleyball, sure. But more than that, it’s about “friendships, it’s about emotional well-being, and it’s about the sense of family that we have,” Rogers said.

“We know a lot about each other. And we know a lot about each other’s husbands,” Rogers said.

For more information on the Wild Walleyball Women of Waynesboro, call Sue Woodworth at 540.949.6205.

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