Allen Fieldhouse to Host Kansas Volleyball Nov. 26
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second-straight season, Kansas volleyball will return to its roots when the Jayhawks host Denver inside Allen Fieldhouse – the team’s original home – on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Fans are invited free of charge.
Allen Fieldhouse served as the home for KU volleyball from 1975-98 prior to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center opening in the fall of 1999. Last year, the Jayhawks hosted the NCAA First and Second Rounds in Allen Fieldhouse, drawing more than 8,000 fans in the two-day stretch – the highest attendance at any first/second-round site in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Before Kansas hosted 2012 postseason action the program elected to play in its historic first home during the regular season. Out of gratitude to the community and its loyal volleyball supporters, Kansas Athletics used the opportunity for a “Fan Appreciation Night,” welcoming fans to attend free of charge. The turnout was terrific, as more than 3,200 fans attended the non-conference match. The KU volleyball team is hoping for a similar scene next Tuesday.
“We drew well for the match against Saint Louis; it was loud and very well attended,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “I think the players got a kick out of playing in the Fieldhouse in front of a good volleyball crowd. Hopefully we can create that same type of environment this year.”
The Horejsi Family Athletics Center holds 1,300 fans and the NCAA now requires a capacity of 2,000 seats of its host sites. KU volleyball’s previous home, Allen Fieldhouse, holds 16,300. Sitting at No. 11 in the RPI and No. 22 in the AVCA Division I Coaches poll, KU’s potential to repeat as an NCAA host site in 2013 is unclear, but Bechard didn’t want to waste the opportunity to create even more buzz for his program and the sport in general.
“In our last opportunity to play a regular-season match at home, we’re just trying to do as much as we can to promote the sport,” Bechard said. “Last year when we did this, we had the opportunity to play in front of a lot more Jayhawk fans. We love Horejsi; it’s a special place, but I think when we have a unique opportunity for a non-conference match against a quality opponent, we have the chance to expose our sport to a bigger fan base. I think we have an obligation to grow our sport in this area and this is an opportunity to do that.”
Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. match.
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