They are known for their moral support. They show they’re in the money with their ritual “money dance” and when they play, they give a good show. They call themselves “The Squad.”
Formed in 2011 by senior Blake Bijaripour, The Squad is comprised of volleyball’s bench players and, since its formation, the group has become a team within a team.
“I wasn’t always part of The Squad, but Blake saw potential in me,” senior and co-captain of The Squad Ryan Odening joked.
He added that while The Squad has its members-at-large, it is an open group.
“If you can show commitment by not being played for the game, then we take you under our wing as our own,” he said.
The Squad is a tight unit, but it is not unusual for volleyball coach Liane Sato to momentarily break up the group to stir up more excitement in the stands.
“Ms. Sato will say, ‘Sorry guys, I’m going to have to break The Squad up, we need to make this a show,’” Odening said.
While members of The Squad are not accustomed to playing regularly, they do hold a large responsibility from the sidelines. This responsibility is known as “Good, good, out,” which requires the squad members to watch each serve and help their team members on the court determine whether or not the serve has made it in and if they should play on it.
For especially good plays, The Squad will reward teammates with the “money dance.” Developed and led by Bijaripour, with help from part-time members Jack Cramer and Trevor Pye, the “money dance” requires the boys to move their feet in a dancing motion and deal out imaginary money with their hands, as if they are tossing money to the ground.
“[The money dance] is something Blake did one day and now we bust it out spontaneously at practice,” sophomore Spencer Cramer said.
The leader of the pack, Blake Bijaripour, is proud of his creation. “The Squad is the backbone of the team. We provide all the yelling that is necessary at games,” he said. “We do the dirty work.”