By: Will Harper, Staff Writer
The era of the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium is now officially here! The new state-of-the-art basketball and volleyball arena houses both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team, and contains the locker room for the newly instated women’s lacrosse team. On Wednesday, Sept. 20 the stadium officially opened with the volleyball team’s first in-conference game against Furman.
Needless to say, students, faculty and staff are excited. Despite the team’s 3-1 loss to Furman, the atmosphere was electric, much like the atmosphere that allowed the girls to go 12-7 over the last two years. When volleyball coach Lynze Roos was asked about the atmosphere, she attributed it to the fans: “There is something very special about playing in front of your home crowd on your campus that feeds the home court advantage – not just the actual gym. With our fans’ help, this will become one of the best match environments in the Southern Conference, and perhaps our whole region.”
Outside hitter Catie Cronister ’20 agrees, saying, “The atmosphere was amazing! We have the best fans and their energy is going to help us get some really big wins this season.” She led the team last year with 480.5 points, which comes to a commendable four points per set, as well as 45 aces. She also agreed with Coach Garrity on the issue of recruiting, stating, “I think the new stadium adds so much to our overall athletics program. Not only is it a state of the art facility that will increase our level of play, it will also make recruiting future terriers even easier!”
Head coach of women’s basketball Jimmy Garrity believes the stadium sells itself. “It is one of the nicest basketball arenas in the country. It’s not necessarily bigger, but the attention to detail put into that building is second to none.” When asked if the building would help with recruiting, he responded, “When you bring a prospect and their family into that environment, it’s an eye opener and a game changer. You can tell they’re impressed with the commitment the college is making.”
With a new season begun, and two more on the horizon, the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium is undoubtedly going to be a staple for years to come. There is so much good that can be said about this building that the next issue will have a continuation article, covering other aspects of the new stadium such as the modern amenities, the new student section and lounge and of course the crazy games that will unfold on the floor.