USM volleyball awaits word on new facility

USM volleyball awaits word on new facility
(Source: KCBD File Photo)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) _ The University of Southern Mississippi announced Thursday the completion of its 2019 women’s volleyball schedule.

Now, the Lady Eagles await the completion of a $6 million facility that will serve as home base for USM’s indoor volleyball future.

The university broke ground in July 2018 on the “Wellness Center,” which will serve as the practice/playing court for Lady Eagles volleyball.

The 28,000-square-foot facility, located less than 200 yards northeast of Reed Green Coliseum, also will include locker, training and meeting rooms.

In partnership with the non-profit Mississippi Community Education Center, the facility also can be converted to hold community classes, meetings, camps, seminars and other events.

The partnerships with MCEC provided some public funding, with the remainder of the cost covered by about two dozen private donors. USM also received "gift-in-kind" donations of material and labor for the project.

The Lady Eagles, who carded their sixth consecutive winning season in 2019, open the home portion of their schedule with the 12th annual Southern Miss Volleyball Classic on Sept. 6-7.

The Lady Eagles will welcome Mississippi State University, University of New Orleans and Arkansas State University for the two-day .

Whether that round-robin event will be played for the final time at Green Coliseum or christen the new facility remains to be seen, USM athletic director Jeremy McClain said.

“We’re still waiting on the final date when we’re going to be able to take possession,” USM athletic director Jeremy McClain said. “We’ll be in it this season. I don’t know whether that will be opening game or is it going to be some point early on? We just don’t know at this point.

“So, we are waiting on that date, but we do see us getting in it during this season.”

USM open its season at the University of Denver Invitational, with a match set for Aug. 30 and a pair of Aug. 31. Joining USM and host Denver in the round robin will be the University of Seattle and University of San Francisco.

USM stays on the road, stopping by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 10 before wrapping up round-robin “classic/invitation” play with a weekend trip to Georgia Southern University, where the Lady Eagles will face the host Eagles, University of North Carolina-Asheville and Winthrop University on Sept. 13-14.

Two more non-conference road matches beckon, at Tulane University (Sept. 19) and at Louisiana State University (Sept. 20), before the Lady Eagles open Conference USA play at Marshall University (Sept. 27) and Western Kentucky University (Sept. 29).

The Lady Eagles will have 10 home matches, including seven C-USA clashes and non-conference throwdowns with Alabama State University (Oct. 2), University of South Alabama (Oct. 8) and University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 1).

The final home match is set for Nov. 16, when Louisiana Tech University arrives in Hattiesburg for the regular-season finale. The C-USA tournament is scheduled for Nov. 22-24 at Rice University.

“Our program is very excited for this fall indoor season,” USM volleyball coach Stephanie Radecki said in a statement. “There are so many things to look forward to.

“With the anticipated opening of our volleyball facility and many new faces, I feel this schedule will not only challenge our team but prepare us to compete at the highest level.”

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