No doubt about it.
The Horejsi Family Athletics Center at Kansas University was made for volleyball. A big volleyball is plastered at midcourt and the scoreboard tracks digs and kills.
KU's volleyball team christened the facility on Saturday night with an exhibition match against Jayhawk alumni. The current Jayhawks won, 15-0, 15-7, 15-8, 15-11, 11-15 before an estimated crowd of 173.
"I think they're (alumni) a little bit envious of what we have but excited it's available finally," second-year KU coach Ray Bechard said of the volleyball-friendly facility.
Indeed they're envious. Laura Rohde, part of the alumni team and now a backup goalie for the KU soccer squad, was a senior volleyball player last fall and had hoped to play her last few matches at Horejsi instead of closing her career at Allen Fieldhouse.
"It was frustrating that it wasn't in done in time," said Rohde, second on KU's career assists list. "I really would have loved to play in it last year. It's a volleyball facility. Allen is not a volleyball facility. It's a basketball facility used for volleyball."
Unlike Allen, the volleyball fans sit courtside.
"With this atmosphere you can hear the fans more," Rohde said. "The locker room is amazing. It will help the program. When you have a good facility, recruits will see that and want to come here."
Before the match, the alumni were given a tour of Horejsi. Two former coaches and 24 former players attended the match. Thirteen former players suited for the alumni in their "Alumni Night with the Jayhawks" shirts. Bob Lockwood, KU's head coach from 1979-84, coached the alumni.
The alumni improved their point total each game and won the fifth with rally scoring. Kendra Kahler, whose final year at KU was '97, capped the fifth game with a kill.
"It took us a while to get warmed up," Rohde said.
Senior middle blocker Amanda Reves had 26 kills to lead KU. She received honorable mention all-Big 12 as a junior.
"It was a little more rigid than I would have liked," Reves said of the exhibition. "We expect a lot out of ourselves right now."
As for Horejsi, Reves said, "We still haven't gotten a big-time match but it is a homey feeling and great atmosphere."
The Jayhawks open for real with a match against Missouri-Kansas City at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Horejsi.
-- Steve Rottinghaus' phone message number is 832-7152. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org