For non-student athletes at Goshen College, it can be difficult to find easy access to organized sports on a regular basis and intramurals are limited. There is an option for organized sports that is easily accessible and found locally in Michiana: co-ed volleyball. There’s even a direct connection to campus: Raquel Montanez-Gonzalez, assistant professor of biology at GC who participates in several co-ed volleyball leagues.

Q: Tell me about your involvement with the South Bend Volleyball League and what got you interested in joining the league?

A: In 2019, I started summer beach volleyball at Wings Etc. (Osceola). During the winter there are indoor leagues in the Salvation Army Kroc Center (South Bend) and I also play there. I played volleyball throughout my childhood [in Puerto Rico], so going back to volleyball sounded perfect as I was trying to have more of a work-life balance during grad school.

Q: Trying something new in any area especially open, co-ed sports can be scary for people. What was your experience like once you joined?

A: Well, I was not new in terms of volleyball, but new in terms of volleyball in English [and] volleyball with people from other cultures. Venturing to a new environment was scary and trying to make friends and meaningful relationships was a bit hard at first. However, throughout my time in volleyball I have met great people, made some friends and we also took our friendship outside of the court. It becomes something [I] look forward to every week. 

Q: Has this led to any new connections for you such as new friendships?

A: For sure—friends of all ages and backgrounds. It made me more connected to the area, as all my exchanges had been with scientists and grad students from 2015 to 2019. [Volleyball] made me feel like a real person again and not just a human being going to a lab everyday.

Q: What would you say to someone that is on the fence about trying a new recreational activity?

A: Do it. Even if it doesn’t work out. Having the feeling of trying something new or venturing into a new environment can be scary, but it is an exciting experience. I haven’t stopped playing. I play every summer.


Indoor and outdoor volleyball league teams are co-ed and sign up costs vary depending on team size. Each team is required to have at least two females on a roster. Beach volleyball leagues can be found at Wings Etc. in Osceola, Outpost Beach Volleyball & Event Center in Mishawaka, and The Galley Sports Pub in Elkhart. More information can be found on the Michiana Adult Volleyball Info Facebook group.