Making History in the Stands

Photo Gallery Included Below

By Melisa Adatepe, Staff Writer

// Hundreds of fans decked in blue and white filled the gym last week as the women’s volleyball team played in an unforgettable environment in an attempt to set the Acalanes High School indoor attendance record. 

   The Acalanes community gathered last week on Sept. 20 in the Chris Huber Memorial Gym to support the women’s volleyball team’s goal of breaking the school’s indoor attendance record for a female sporting event. In collaboration with Leadership and the Female Athletic Board (FAB), the match was advertised with a LatinX Potluck and the opportunity to defeat historical rival Campolindo. 

   The team took inspiration from the University of Nebraska women’s volleyball team, who recently packed tens of thousands of fans into their football stadium to set a world record for attendance for a women’s sporting events.

   “I think the importance of that event is kind of something that’s happening in terms of female athletics across the United States and also the world and that a couple of weeks ago, Nebraska volleyball broke the attendance record at 92,000 fans,” History teacher and Head Coach Haley Walsh said. 

   The team publicized through social media, newsletters, and posters. With the help of the FAB, the team was able to pack over 700 fans in the gym to create an exciting and roaring crowd.

   “I do know that we’ve never sold out the entire gym, and the capacity I think is 950 fans, so we got 750. So, pretty close,” Walsh said.

   Many Campolindo students and families attended the game, as their school’s Leadership program and volleyball team also created event publicity.

   “Campo’s ASB president plays on the volleyball team so that’s how we worked out the tickets and getting Campo in for free here which I think is huge if they have ASB because it obviously incentivizes them to go, so it’s honestly really easy if people want to connect, I think all district schools I think are happy to coordinate,” Student Activities Coordinator Katherine Walton said.

   Players thrived off the energy created by the fans, making it a close and competitive game that came down to the last two points in the fifth set. 

   “I think it was great for us. We had people supporting us and it’s fun just having the whole school there. It’s good energy. We were really close to winning, but it was still a great game because of everyone there,” volleyball player and junior MaeLin Mason said. 

   The fans’ support bolstered the team’s spirit and created a competitive atmosphere as players strove to perform their best in the storied rivalry match against Campolindo. 

   “The infectious nature of the crowd, the energy, and just having all the fans there, most of whom stayed till the end was awesome…there were moments in the game where the crowd cheering either got in the head of the other team or helped push us to do better,” Walsh said. 

   The Latinos Unidos Club and Leaderships’ Diversity Board also hosted a LatinX Potluck before the game to celebrate Latine Heritage Month. The food was popular among the attendees and added to the spirited pre-game environment.   

   “We ran out of food within the first half of our scheduled time period,” Diversity Board Head and senior Monty Gumabay said. 

  The FAB hopes that the success of this game will lead to other women’s teams advocating to have larger crowds at future sporting events.

   “We are trying to pick big games that are important to the teams to get a large attendance. For example, we are hosting a FAB Night Out for flag football during homecoming week against Northgate and Campo. If we broadcast for one big game weeks in advance, people will want to go, and we will continue to do that with other female sports,” FAB President and junior Addie McShane said.

Photo Gallery by contributing photographer and senior Cimon Yiannikos.

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