Kent Lanes serves up summer fun

Denise Wright

Kent Lanes provides more than just bowling. Two beach volleyball courts adjacent to Kent Lanes’ outdoor patio are a hot spot for Kent’s amateur volleyball players. James Mellyn | Summer Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

READ the summer specials at Kent Lanes.

Kent Lanes: the volleyball venue

A shrill whistle cut into the murmur of conversation that already filled the air. It was Thursday night, and a volleyball tournament was in full swing outside Kent Lanes in the far corner of the parking lot.

The tournament marked the end of the first volleyball league session, which lasted 10 weeks.

Tony DeLeone, general manager of Kent Lanes, said approximately 60 teams participated in this past session. Because the teams are spread out over the course of three nights, about a third of them were competing last Thursday evening.

Team Bundy sat at a table, waiting for their match to begin.

“They’re gonna get crushed,” said Brandon DeCastro, a recent University of Akron graduate, in reference to the competition. “And no, I don’t practice – I’m a superstar.”

Nick Bechter, DeCastro’s teammate and another recent University of Akron alumnus, laughed and took another sip of his beer.

Although Bechter was quick to admit he enjoys coming to volleyball for the booze, he also said “it’s just a fun time.”

The other team members agreed.

The smell of burgers on the grill invaded the air, and the music switched from Kid Rock to The Spill Canvas.

A crowd of about 20 was gathered at the bar. One of the girls at the bar started singing along, “I’m all over you, I’m not over you.”

Meanwhile, a long, intense match was taking place on the nearest of the two sand courts. A referee watched from a wooden deck in between the two courts.

Lincoln Hart, a Kent resident and member of one of the teams, spiked the ball over the net, adding another point to the team’s already leading score.

He smiled and raised his hand to give Hailey Dukes, fellow teammate and Kent resident, a high five.

Within a few minutes, his team had sealed the match.

The two teams lined up to shake hands.

Hart, Dukes and Cidalene Henry, a Mogadore resident, said they all enjoy the fun, laid-back environment of the volleyball league.

“Plus, you get to see good-looking people like me,” Dukes said.

Hart agreed.

“There are a lot of good-looking people here,” he said.

While Henry agreed, she also gave other reasons.

“It’s fun, so everyone should come,” she said. “Even if you don’t play, you can just come and hang out at the Tiki Hut and watch.”

But for those who are interested in playing, Matt Tennant, a Kent Lanes manager, said another 10-week session starts this week. Although the registration deadline has already passed, volleyball enthusiasts can still get their fix in the six-week fall session.

Kent Lanes: the bowling alley

Loud thuds filled the air as patrons threw bowling ball after bowling ball. A string of flashing white lights line the 24 lanes, and purple neon lights cast a glow over the entire alley.

Senior marketing major Ashleigh Ress was bowling with about 10 friends. The group comes to Kent Lanes regularly.

“I really like the atmosphere and the Moonrock bowling,” Ress said. “Plus, they run a lot of specials, so I feel like a lot more college kids come here.”

Sean McCarthy, senior political science major and a member of Ress’ group, said he likes going there because “it’s a good time with cheap beer.”

Two guys a few lanes down had the same idea.

Their laughter carried down the alley. Keith Barys, who graduated from Kent State in May with a degree in English, got up and made his way over to the bar to get another pitcher.

Scott Miller, senior human movement major, walked in and joined Ress’ group as Ress walked down the stairs and retrieved her green ball.

After her bowl, she walked back up the stairs and joined the group. Brett Polczynski, a junior Web design major, poured beer in a cup and handed it to her.

“Drink up,” he said. “You’re not playing so well.”

The staff said it enjoys having college students make up a large portion of its

customer base.

Tennant said he has worked at other bowling alleys with college-aged customers, but he enjoys working at Kent Lanes more.

“I like interacting with everyone, but it’s nice to interact with people my own age,” he said.

Mike Duffy, freshman marketing major and Kent Lanes employee, said he recommends Kent Lanes to students because it has a good college atmosphere. He also said going there is convenient because it’s so close to campus.

Tennant said the staff strives to make the alley affordable for students. It provides regular specials every day of the week along with sending out discounts over Mobile Campus.

Tennant also started an e-mail club recently, so customers can sign up to have coupons e-mailed to them.

“There’s always a deal to be had here,” Tennant said.

Contact general assignment reporter Denise Wright at [email protected].