The Virginia Tech volleyball team plays and practices at Cassell Coliseum, its home since the athletics department made the program a varsity sport in 1977.
The coliseum, a 9,847-seat arena that also serves as the home to the basketball programs and to the wrestling program, is home for a winning tradition in volleyball. The Hokies have won more than 70 percent of their games at home since becoming a varsity sport at Tech.
The coliseum serves as the home for the Tech volleyball team’s locker room and coaches’ offices. In 2010, that locker room was expanded and renovated, and it now features new lockers, a new lounge area, a large flatscreen television, a video game system and a surround-sound system. The new wall graphics in the locker room pay tribute not only to the current squad, but also to the teams of the past.
Additionally, an auxiliary gym adjacent to the playing floor in Cassell is reserved exclusively for the volleyball team's use. They have access to this gym at all times, both for official practices as well as outside individual work.
As for the coliseum itself, construction of the main portion of the coliseum began in 1961. It was completed in December of 1964 at a cost of $2.7 million. Built by T.C. Brittain and Company of Decatur, Ga., it houses an arena, locker rooms, an auxiliary gymnasium, a strength and conditioning facility, offices and other athletic facilities.
The coliseum has undergone other extensive renovations over the years. Prior to the 1988-89 season, a new spring-loaded playing floor was installed. In 1996-97, workers replaced the roof of the facility and installed structural access to the heating and lighting systems. They also restored and resealed the exterior concrete walls and buttresses.
Since that time, the seats have been stripped of their paint and refinished to retain their natural wood look (in 2001-02), and new video boards have been added to both ends of the coliseum to provide for live action and video replays during all games (2000-01). Prior to the 2003-04 season, the concourse area was renovated and now features more accessible concession areas, new flooring, video monitors that allow fans to watch the action when not in the arena and the addition of Hokie Stone to many of the entrances to the seating area.
Through new projects, renovations and maintenance reserve projects, Cassell Coliseum has undergone approximately $2.5 million in improvements in recent years.
The volleyball team conducts most of its strength and conditioning training in the weight room and the speed and agility center housed in the Merryman Center. The $10.6 million facility next to Cassell contains 17,000 square feet of strength and conditioning space.
The Merryman Center was dedicated Sept., 26, 1998, and is named for the F.W. (Sonny) Merryman family of Rustburg, Va., which presented the university with a major gift to kick off a fund-raising campaign.
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