BYU athletics will host the first and second round matches of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament in the Smith Fieldhouse Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
The tournament will begin Nov. 30 with the University of Utah playing the University of Denver at 4 p.m. BYU will follow, playing Stony Brook University at 7 p.m. The winners of each game will face off the following day, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m.
Matt Nix, the tournament director from BYU, said the most stressful part about putting on this type of event is keeping all the teams happy, which includes following the NCAA guidelines to an exactness.
“We need to make sure we are following everything in the NCAA manual to the T,” Nix said. “(The other teams) have access to the manual as well, so they know how it’s supposed to be done. If we’re not doing it how it’s supposed to be done, then they’ll call us out on it.”
Nix emphasized that the NCAA gives requirements to make the host institution a neutral site for the tournament.
“We’re the host institution, but it’s not a home game,” Nix said. “We have our home court advantage, but we have to treat the game like we’re a neutral site. Like we’re a championship site.”
Nix said BYU Athletics had to change the way it does seating, marketing, promotions and corporate sponsorship signage to become more neutral. He said the NCAA sent them signage to put up in addition to requiring specific ticket amounts to be sold equally between the two teams.
“We have to provide 100 court-side tickets to every team, and they have to be right behind their bench or right across the court,” Nix said. “We had season ticket holders who had those seats, and we had to move them because that’s what the NCAA requires.”
The way timeouts and pregames are conducted during the games will also change. BYU Women’s Volleyball Marketing Coordinator Jordan Blad said these parts of the games are included in the NCAA guidelines.
“The NCAA sends over content for us to use in scripts, so we just follow that,” Blad said. “There are some videos with (public address) reads that they provide for us that happen pregame. But, we can still play music and everything.”
Blad, however, said there are stipulations concerning fight songs. She said in order for marketing to play BYU’s fight song, it will have to play every school in the tournament’s fight song. She explained the winner of each set will have their fight song played after the set to maintain neutrality.
Jordan Christiansen, the media coordinator for the tournament, said this will be the first time the Denver and Stony Brook volleyball teams have come to BYU. He said the tournament will be an opportunity for these teams to see the university, the state and the local area.
“Hopefully they enjoy everything (with exception to) the result of the games because we still want BYU to win,” Christiansen said. “But, (I want them to think) that they were taken care of, that they could do their job, that they met friendly people and that they would want to come back sometime.”
If BYU wins both the first and second rounds, BYU Athletics will host regional matches on Dec. 7 and 8 for the first time in school history.
“The teams coming in will be more seasoned teams that are going to expect a certain type of atmosphere,” Nix said about the regional teams. “We’ve never hosted a regional, so we’re preparing for that. Our team still has to win, but we’re getting things ready … which is really exciting.”
— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) November 26, 2018