For the first time, City College’s men’s volleyball team is live streaming most of their matches during the 2016 season, and is the only team on campus to do so.
Head Coach Kevin Pratte decided to offer live streaming after City College hosted the California Community College Athletic Association Final Four matches in 2015.
Pratte hired the play-by-play announcer used for the Final Four matches, Mike Zepeda, to broadcast the men’s volleyball games. Zepeda teams up with the coach’s father, Bob Pratte, who does color commentary.
Kevin Pratte had seen the opportunities live streaming gave his athletes when he was on the University of Nebraska women’s volleyball staff in 2009 and decided that this could be a great opportunity for his athletes at City.
“The goal is to live stream as many matches as possible for (our team). Our staff believes that it will take our program to greater heights,” said Pratte.
The live streaming feature not only allows fans and family members to view their favorite players but it also allows coaches from universities of all levels to follow the athletes.
Before each match, the City’s men’s volleyball staff sends out an email to each head coach at every university with a men’s volleyball program. The staff informs the coaches of which Knights will be playing, noting that each player is looking to play at the next level.
Sophomore Lucas Timm was invited to tour California State University- Northridge, an NCAA Division I school, after the coach there had viewed a few games via live streaming.
The matches are streamed using a broadcast program called Ustream. Matches can be viewed by anyone and anywhere on a computer, laptop, smart phone or tablet.
The games can be seen by typing “SDCC1“ into the search engine on the Ustream website.
On average, 140 people view each game. So far, the highest number of viewers was 205, when the Knights defeated the defending state champions, Santa Monica Corsairs, during the season opener.
Pratte explained that the live streaming feature is being funded by boosters of the team, and friends and family members but declined to say how much it’s costing.
The team plans to continue streaming future seasons, the coach said.
The next match to be streamed will be on March 11 when the Knights take on Golden West College at 6 p.m. at City’s Harry West Gymnasium.