STORRS, Conn. - In 2012 it was in London, England where the US Women's National Team won an Olympic silver medal, but this fall, the 2012 Olympic Games volleyball court will serve as home to the UConn Huskies.
Branded with its original logos, the Olympic court will lie in Guyer Gym where Head Coach Kris Grunwald and his squad will compete this season, due to renovations in the Gampel Pavilion.
With the renovations in Gampel running until October, Guyer Gym in the Hugh S. Geer Field House will serve as the program's temporary home for 2017.
"This fall will certainly be an interesting experience for our program," said Grunwald. "Moving our day to day functions from the spacious confines of Gampel Pavilion to the close quarters of Guyer Gym will offer both advantages and challenges for our staff and team."
The Huskies will not only be playing in a new facility this fall but on an entirely new surface as well. The 2012 Olympic court is made of Taraflex, a portable cushion-backed surface that has been used in the Olympics since 1976. The top layer of the surface is made specifically for volleyball to allow for easier movement as well as easier sliding for the players.
The court, which measures 60ft by 30ft, was brought to Storrs separated into 15 individual rolls. Similar to the Olympics, the Coral Teal free zone will surround a Terracotta (orange and brown) colored playing court, the only two colors that do not directly correlate with any country's flag. Though the court might be the most prominent addition to Guyer Gym this fall, it is not the only one.
"In working close with the administration, facilities, and marketing groups, we feel we have put together a plan to provide a fun environment for the fall schedule. We will be bringing in portable bleachers for the fans, added piped air conditioning into the facility, and have rented a portable playing surface to provide the best possible playing experience for the schedule," added Grunwald.
In additional to portable bleachers and new air conditioning, the Huskies will line their new court with UConn Huskies logos, to provide the team with a `home court' feel. Despite the adversity of moving to a new location, Grunwald and his program are excited for what their new environment will bring, especially for the fans.
"The lower ceiling in Guyer will certainly create some chaotic play, but in the long run we hope that will be an advantage for us. Additionally, practicing in that facility in the past, it is an extremely loud gym just with the noise generated from our team. Once we add a couple hundred Husky fans to the equation, it should be a loud and exciting environment for all," explained Grunwald.
UConn has until September 1 to get accustomed to their new confines, as the squad will open home action against Iona in the program's annual Dog Pound Challenge.