Volleyball uses promotions to attract crowds

Doug Gulasy

The Kent State volleyball team is trying to give fans another reason to attend its home matches.

Last season, the Flashes had an average home attendance of 120 people, 200 below the average road attendance. To help raise that number, the team will hold various promotions.

“A lot of the promotions (are for) bringing the student body, the Kent community, faculty and staff to our matches, getting Kent spirit, a lot of pride going,” said assistant coach Genoa Moxley, who handles the team’s promotions.

Some of the team’s promotions are meant to benefit charities. Tonight’s match against Bowling Green is American Heart Association Night, featuring the promotion of “GO RED for Women.”

Moxley said as part of the promotion meant to raise awareness for heart disease, the Flashes will wear red shirts during warm-ups and she hopes fans will also wear red. She added that stickers, pamphlets and flyers will be given out at the match.

“There are one in three women that are diagnosed every year with cardiovascular disease,” Moxley said. “Being that we are women in athletics, making other students aware of that, making our community aware of that … I think it’s vital that young women are aware of what is possibly a potential danger in our health.”

Another community service promotion will be “Dig for the Cure,” which will be held Oct. 27 when the Flashes host rival Akron. A portion of the charge for admission will go to breast cancer research, but Moxley said fans can give more if they wish.

“They can donate per dig, is what it essentially could be,” she said. “You could donate per person per dig, like Laura Jensen, who is our defensive specialist.”

The players are glad the team is supporting such causes.

“I think it’s really important that we do something that is related to our community,” junior Krista Groce said. “There’s nothing better than giving back. It’s nice having people to come and support us, and I think that if we can also support something else like the American Cancer Society … it’s important.”

A large attendance might be important at one match in particular – the Flashes’ match Thursday with Ohio. The Bobcats have won four straight Mid-American Conference championships and are currently ranked 17th in the country.

“Having them at our place – it’s always an advantage to play a team at home,” junior Ashley Feutz said. “So I think if we can get the crowd into it, that’ll just be one more small advantage we get.”

Moxley planned a “White Out Night” for the match against the Bobcats.

“What we’d like to do is white out the gym,” she said. “(We want to) try to have it where we have students come in wearing all white — almost like a toga night — just come in, have a great time, cheer us on (and) make it loud. We are obviously looking to rock the gym that night.”

Sophomore Lindsay Daniels said a loud crowd could make an impact on the match.

“At Akron, with the band playing and stuff, at timeouts we were all sitting next to (coach) Glen (Conley) on the floor trying to hear what he was saying,” she said. “So it definitely (affects) communication.”

She added that while Ohio usually plays before large crowds at home, it might not be used to playing in such an atmosphere on the road.

“I don’t think they’re used to going somewhere else and having someone else have a lot of fans like they do,” she said.

Contact volleyball reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].