Residence, sweet property? Texas volleyball hosts Kansas in its new Erwin Center house

Louetta R. Clark

Volleyball

Posted September 30th, 2020

Story highlights
  • Texas will play 8 moments this 12 months at the Erwin Heart, which very last hosted a UT volleyball match in 1997.
  • There will be 1,500 obtainable seats at the Erwin Middle. UT averaged 3,873 enthusiasts at Gregory Gym in 2019.
  • The top-ranked crew in the AVCA’s slide poll, Texas conquer Oklahoma 2 times previous week.

4 yrs ago, Logan Eggleston knowledgeable the ambiance within Gregory Health and fitness center for the very first time.

Then a superior college sophomore and nonetheless two months away from committing to Texas, Eggleston was there to view the Longhorns’ five-established thriller against Iowa Point out. She had produced the vacation from Tennessee, where by she wasn’t made use of to looking at this kind of fervent curiosity in volleyball. She and 3,156 other people submitted into UT’s home gymnasium on the exact working day as the Texas-Oklahoma football recreation in Dallas.

She mentioned attending UT matches at Gregory in 2016 and 2017 assisted solidify her determination to turn into a Longhorn. She skipped her senior year of superior college and joined the plan in 2018. Texas has averaged 3,761 enthusiasts through her initial two several years. Nationally, Texas has rated fifth in attendance in each individual of the previous a few many years.

But the Longhorns are shifting into a new house. Because of coronavirus pandemic protocols, Texas will engage in its 8 house matches at the Erwin Heart this year. The 1st company are the Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday and Friday.

“It’s absolutely going to be distinctive, but we’re excited,” Eggleston claimed. “We imagine we’ve prepared genuinely very well. We’re just all set to have a group come and contend towards us here on campus.”

UT ahead Joyner Holmes can take a shot against Kansas centre Bailey Helgren (left) and ahead Mariane De Carvalho at the Erwin Heart in Austin on Jan. 22, 2020. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

For decades, Texas has appreciated a house-court docket gain at Gregory. The gym seats 4,000 and court-facet lovers and pupils aren’t that distanced from the gamers. “That health and fitness center is loud,” Baylor center blocker Shelly Stafford mentioned very last yr. “There’s shirtless men about 5 feet on the left and there’s followers screaming on the proper. You hear just all types of entertaining stuff currently being yelled at you.”

The Erwin Center final hosted a volleyball match in 1997. The arena has a capacity of 16,540, but only 1,500 seats will be out there for volleyball to time-ticket holders and friends of the two teams. Social distancing tips will be applied in the reduce bowl. Cheerleaders and Hook ‘Em will be in attendance. The band will not.

“Obviously it would be nicer to be in Gregory Gym,” Texas coach Jerritt Elliott said. “But through these instances, I’m on the lookout at the glass 50 percent-entire. We could not be actively playing and sitting down at property.”

Texas has played in basketball arenas before. That is been the scenario for Major 12 matches at Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Longhorns know the courtroom will even now be 59 toes by 29.5 feet. The regulations will continue being the exact same.

Some adjustments, nonetheless, will be produced. At the NCAA Ultimate Four in 2016, former UT All-American Micaya White partially attributed her serving struggles to her depth notion and the lights at the spacious Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. That could all over again be a issue for the Longhorns this drop.

“There for guaranteed is a distinct depth notion. The ball moves a minor little bit in a different way, the match moves a tiny little bit slower,” Elliott reported. “The handful of occasions that we’ve practiced there so far, it is been so excellent. It is heading to be really position quo relocating ahead.”

Texas volleyball gamers Brionne Butler (10) and Skylar Fields (5) celebrates a block all through a first-spherical match versus Albany on Dec. 5, 2019 in Austin. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Just after beating Oklahoma two times very last week, Texas is 2-. For their attempts towards the Sooners, Eggleston and junior center blocker Brionne Butler ended up named the Large 12’s offensive and defensive players of the 7 days. The Longhorns now top rated the AVCA’s tumble poll, which ranks groups from the Massive 12, ACC, SEC and Sunshine Belt conferences.

On Thursday and Friday, Texas will host a Kansas team that break up its period-opening series with No. 2 Baylor. Eggleston expressed self confidence that the lovers at the Erwin Centre will make their existence acknowledged. She also conceded that the crew will also will need to produce its very own strength.

That suggests that Eggleston will proceed to “get up in people’s faces,” and Texas will need far more exuberant celebrations from setter Jhenna Gabriel and reverse hitter Skylar Fields. Another supply of hype? In accordance to Eggleston, Butler and Asjia O’Neal’s “facial expressions and the way they jump and will get on you after you make a wonderful play. Also, our (defensive experts) just do a wonderful position of becoming loud, hyping us up.”

“I’m not far too anxious about the vitality aspect of playing in Frank Erwin,” Eggleston explained. “I imagine we all convey it.”

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