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Freitas Ice Forum converted into volleyball facility

The Huskies are expected to have one of the only volleyball-specific facilities in the nation.

@UConnHuskies on Twitter

UConn volleyball has its a new home for the upcoming fall season.

On May 2, the school announced that Freitas Ice Forum — former home of UConn’s ice hockey teams — would be transformed into a new facility for UConn’s volleyball team. Prior to renovation, the volleyball team had used Harry A. Gampel Pavilion since 1993 — with the exception of the 2017 season, when it moved into Guyer Gym due to roof renovations in Gampel.

The new facility — which currently does not have a name — cost $2.5 million in gift-funded money.

According to UConn athletic director David Benedict, phase one of the transformation was finished as of Monday, Aug. 7. In a tweet announcing the news, he wrote, “Phase one complete with phase two by this time next year. With four separate courts that they can utilize anytime they want, we couldn’t be happier.” Benedict later added that phase two will include permanent bleachers and a video board.

“We didn’t have enough lead time to get these things done prior to this season,” he tweeted. “Lots of other little things that will happen over the course of time. We had a relatively short window to get all of this done prior to the beginning of this year’s season.”

Featuring four brand new courts — one for games and three for practice — as well as renovated locker rooms and team areas, the facility is thought to be one of the few volleyball-specific buildings in the nation.

With the addition of the new training facility, the Huskies were all smiles.

Last year, UConn went 17-14 overall and 10-8 in conference play under fifth-year head coach Ellen Herman-Kimball. After losing in the Big East Championship in 2022, UConn will look to get over the hump and reach the program’s first NCAA Tournament in 2023. The team’s first home match in its new digs is set for Sept. 1 against Hofstra — though an exhibition will be held there on Aug. 17 against Fairfield.

Volleyball is the seventh program to get a new facility in recent years. The two soccer programs, baseball and softball all received an upgrade when Rizza Family Performance Center opened alongside Elliot Ballpark, the new Burrill Family Field and the new Morrone Stadium while the hockey programs moved in Toscano Family Ice Forum this past January.