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Saturday, December 1, 2012

KU volleyball success: Fans can dig it

Supporters cheer on team at Allen Fieldhouse during opening-round NCAA tourney victory

Kansas players celebrate their opening round NCAA tournament volleyball match victory over Cleveland State Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. With the win the Jayhawks advance to face Wichita State tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

Kansas players celebrate their opening round NCAA tournament volleyball match victory over Cleveland State Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. With the win the Jayhawks advance to face Wichita State tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

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Having made almost every Kansas University volleyball home game in her time at KU, sophomore Allison Hammond, of Overland Park, would probably qualify as a die-hard fan. So when the team is playing in the NCAA tournament at Allen Fieldhouse, there’s no way she’s going to miss it.

“It’s really exciting,” Hammond said between yells as the volleyball team defeated Cleveland State on Friday night in four sets.

The crowd of about 3,500 in Allen Fieldhouse did its best to rock the old barn, clapping along with the fight song and rising and yelling for each set point. The band was on hand to pump up the crowd, and the volleyball team even got in the mix with an impromptu dance between matches to the song “Gangnam Style.”

Hammond did her fair share to encourage the team, recruiting a number of friends to fill the front row and wave signs urging them on.

“Volleyball isn’t as popular so people don’t want to go to the matches, but I think our team deserves our support because they are really good,” she said.

Hammond started going to the games as a freshman because she had a friend in the KU band.

“I got hooked,” she said. “I just really like how fast-paced it is. It has just kind of become an outlet for me. It’s a good way to release energy.”

For some it was a chance to see the team dig, dive and spike on a larger stage. For others, it was a place to pick up tips.

Annika Carlson, an eighth-grader from Overland Park, was using the matches to improve her game.

“I’m watching the setters because I’m a setter,” she explained. “It’s fun to watch because we like KU.”

And for season-ticket holder Judy Lebestky, the match was something fun to do while the men’s basketball team scraped out a victory down the road at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“The dives are pretty exciting,” Lebestky said. “I like it when they do that. I think it’s great.”

Comments

MinnesotaJay 1 year, 10 months ago

It would be really neat to see the fan base begin to snowball a little. More fun for everybody!

actorman 1 year, 10 months ago

It's definitely an underrated experience. There's a lot of action and it's quite entertaining. I wish I could be there.

Kyle Rohde 1 year, 10 months ago

Tonight's match was fantastic - I swear there were far more than 3,500 people there - looked to me like 6,000-8,000.

Michael Leiker 1 year, 10 months ago

Guessing they will see more today with no KC season ticket Men's Bball game

Mo Golany 1 year, 10 months ago

I watched the match online and I have to admit I was locked in as it was very exciting and our bball first half was just ok and this was new and exciting for me. Def watching tonight!

kutiger1646 1 year, 10 months ago

where have you found the games online? I've been looking with no success. thanks in advance Never mind. found it.

Phil Leister 1 year, 10 months ago

Strunk, "between matches"? Learn the terminology if you're going to write. They're called "sets".

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