Gampel Pavilion is one of the most well-known landmarks at UConn as it is home to the school’s two top-flight basketball programs and routinely ranked as one of the best college basketball venues in the country. Nonetheless, basketball isn’t the only Olympic sport that calls Gampel home. It’s also the home court of the UConn volleyball team.
When the school announced that Gampel’s roof renovations would continue into the fall, the only news was that First Night would be cancelled this year. That wasn’t the only change caused by the delay, however. It also meant the volleyball team could not use Gampel, and therefore had to play in Guyer Gym, the student rec center.
On the surface, it seemed like a pretty crummy deal for the team. The gym has no seating and it’s only separated from the other courts by thin fabric curtains. But it’s not all bad.
Instead of having to play on the hardwood floor in the gym, with a million different lines running every which way, the team gets to use the official volleyball court of the 2012 Olympics in London.
If they can’t play on their typical home court, getting to play on an olympic court is a pretty good alternative. While the volleyball team doesn’t typically draw many students, having the games inside the rec center could spark some interest in those that just happen to be passing by.
It’s not the first time a team has used Guyer Gym as their home court. In fact, it used to be home to the Huskies’ basketball teams. They originally played in Hawley Armory in the center of campus but moved to Guyer, which students called “The Hanger” due to its curved roof. They played there until Greer Field House opened in 1954, which they used until Gampel Pavilion opened in 1990.
Luckily for volleyball, this is only a temporary venue and they’ll return to Gampel next fall. Until then, they get to make their own history on both a court and a building that have a lot on their own.