Wichita State Shockers

Friday’s doubleheader could challenge Wichita State facilities crew

Wichita State’s volleyball team will not only try to put away Evansville for a Missouri Valley Cofnerence win on Friday, but to also help the athletic department get ready for a men’s basketball game that’s scheduled to start three hours after volleyball begins.
Wichita State’s volleyball team will not only try to put away Evansville for a Missouri Valley Cofnerence win on Friday, but to also help the athletic department get ready for a men’s basketball game that’s scheduled to start three hours after volleyball begins. Eagle correspondent

Wichita State volleyball, you are on the clock.

A weekend featuring tear downs and quick changes starts Friday at Koch Arena with a rare volleyball-men’s basketball doubleheader. It continues Saturday with an afternoon women’s basketball game and volleyball at night.

“The challenge, especially with volleyball, is that there’s not a finite end to it,” associate athletic director Brad Pittman said. “I asked the volleyball staff if they could give me a three-setter, and they couldn’t promise me anything. That’s all right. All we want is a win.”

WSU plays Evansville at 5 p.m. Friday, and while Pittman can wish for a quick resolution, he and his facilities crew must be prepared for other outcomes. The 11th-ranked Shocker men’s basketball team opens the regular season against New Mexico State with tip scheduled for 8:05 p.m.

With that uncertainty, there is a good chance, but no guarantee, the basketball game will start at the scheduled time. The five-person crew needs 20-25 minutes to tear down the volleyball net and bring in basketball goals. The basketball teams will be allowed a minimum of 35 minutes to warm up. Both the Shockers and the Aggies can use the arena’s practice gyms to warm up earlier.

If volleyball ends before 7 p.m., things are moving at a good pace. WSU’s 3-0 victory at Evansville earlier this season took 1 hour, 22 minutes.

To simplify, the basketball setup with radio and TV crews and fans seated at courtside tables will take the place of the usual volleyball chairs. The tarps that normally cover upper level seats during volleyball will not be used.

“Our goal is to start at 8:05,” Pittman said. “Now if it goes five sets for volleyball, that won’t happen and it would probably be pushed 15 to 20 minutes.”

Saturday’s turnaround is less demanding with the women’s basketball team opening against Creighton at 2:05 p.m. and volleyball playing Southern Illinois at 7 p.m.

On Friday, fans should be aware of special circumstances.

▪  People who present a basketball ticket to the ticket office will be given a ticket to the volleyball match. The arena will be cleared after volleyball and fans with basketball tickets will be readmitted. Pittman emphasizes that the turnaround will go more quickly if fans exit the arena immediately after the volleyball match.

▪  WSU is advising fans to use the university shuttle buses, especially those that serve open parking lots near Eck Stadium and the Marcus Center shuttle stop and along 17th Street near the Coleman Tennis Complex and the Elliott Hall shuttle stop. Friday’s appearance by author Stephen King at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex means parking will be limited at that shuttle stop.

Shuttles will run until midnight. The shuttle stop near Wiedemann Hall and Shocker Hall is the closest to Koch Arena.

Men’s basketball parking policies begin at 3 p.m. Volleyball fans with a basketball parking pass can use their basketball pass. Volleyball fans with a volleyball parking pass will park in Bold Gold lots for the match and then must move their vehicle after the match. Volleyball fans without a parking pass are advised to use shuttle lots.

Maps and times for WSU’s shuttle service can be found at wichita.edu/shuttle.

▪  Drop-offs will be permitted.

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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