Photos courtesy of NDSU Athletics (Guo Chen, Xavier Bonner and Carrie Snyder)
When head volleyball coach Jennifer Lopez was playing for NDSU from 2008-11, the Bison averaged more than 1,000 fans per game. Lopez won 40 matches at home as a player. Since going 4-6 in 2013, the Bison have had four-straight winning seasons inside the historic Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. The Bison won 10 games at home this past season and already after one year as the head coach, Lopez has the volleyball program flying high once again.
“Our fans do a really good job of coming out to support us and when it’s full, they almost feel like they’re on top of you, and it creates an environment that’s tough to play in, but exciting to play in.” – Jennifer Lopez, Volleyball Head Coach
Since the volleyball team started playing in the BBF in 1979, they have compiled a 380-84 record. That’s a .819 winning percentage.
The volleyball team had three crowds of more than 1,000 people this past season. In 2016, they did it once and it was when North Dakota came to Fargo.
Opened – 1931
Teams – Volleyball
Capacity – 1,206
- A record crowd of 2,259 packed into the BBF in 1986 when the Bison faced Minnesota State-Moorhead.
- Air conditioning was installed before the 2016 season.
- Chairback seating for 1,206 fans.
With the opening of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, the Bison volleyball team could finally call the historic Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse their home. The football team is the only other program at NDSU with an exclusive home that houses their locker rooms, coaching offices and home field/court. Before the Dacotah Field Bubble, the baseball and softball teams shared the gym for practice times with the volleyball team. Once the Bubble was installed, the wrestling and women’s basketball teams were using the facility for practices and competitions during the Sanford Health Athletic Complex construction.
The volleyball team trains and lifts at the weight room inside the SHAC. There have been conversations about implementing volleyball nets at the SCHEELS Center, but nothing has been made official yet.
“As tough as it is to be away from the rest of our department, it’s nice to have what is ours and for our kids to have a home. And that’s what it is, it’s a home feeling that is theirs and they’ve been able to make their own.” – Jennifer Lopez
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