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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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'Wild wild mess'

UB students dress up to participate in annual mud volleyball tournament

<p>UB student receives "back-splash" from a muddy volleyball. Many students left Oozefest with muddy faces from similar experiences.</p>

UB student receives "back-splash" from a muddy volleyball. Many students left Oozefest with muddy faces from similar experiences.

Spring is back in Buffalo and the UB community celebrated the change of season with the time-honored tradition of Oozefest. 


Oozefest participant gets ready to volley the ball. The further team members competed, the muddier they left the annual event.

It was an overcast and slightly chilly Saturday morning for the 35th annual event. Hundreds of students, alum and community members showed up to play volleyball on swampy courts. The tournament had two different divisions: a competitive division and one just for fun. Each division had its own trophies for playing volleyball in knee-deep mud pits. The event went on for close to seven hours.

Although widely talked about and anticipated by students, the annual tradition is well known outside of the University at Buffalo. 


UB student uses an inflatable tube in the "mud pool." Eliminated team members found ways to continue to enjoy the pit after their matches.

Jasmine Greggs, a freshman psychology and biomedical sciences major, was volunteering at the event and heard about it before she attended UB. 

“I read about the event online and I thought it was a joke, but it’s real,” Greggs said. 

Showering stations, heated tents, free pizza, water stations and people asking about final projects with mud-caked faces surrounded the twelve courts, located behind the South Lake Village Apartments. 

Participants were also eligible to compete in a costume contest, which granted them free entry for next year’s Oozefest. This year’s participants went all out. Some memorable teams with costumes included SETish Tripathi, the American rock band DEVO, A Box of Crayons, two Pokémon themed teams and a team dressed as different blood types. 

The winner of this year’s Oozefest costume competition was The Boston Tea Party. Their team consisted of six members wearing long blue coats and powdered wigs. They were carrying wooden boxes to symbolize tea, a drum to march to and an early U.S. flag, featuring the thirteen colonies, that they hoisted up to signify their victory. 

When asked if they were surprised about winning the competition they responded, “Haven’t you read the history books? Of course we won!” 

Jake Loecher, senior international trade major and team captain, noted that the team’s choice of dressing up as the founding fathers was motivated by their desire to win the costume contest for the second year in a row. 

Last year, their team was called The Extra Crispy Boys. Six members dressed up in Colonel Sanders costumes and one member wore a fried-chicken costume. 


UB student celebrates at Oozefest 2019. The annual mud-pit volleyball competition brings together UB students, alumni, and faculty to compete.

Morgan Henry, a senior electrical engineering major, said he will “definitely come back for Oozefest next year,” citing his annual participation as some of his best memories at UB.

Leah Higgins is a staff writer and can be reached at 



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