Due to the Sun Dome’s renovations, USF’s women’s volleyball club and other sport clubs lack sufficient time and space for practice sessions at the Campus Recreation Center, according to Sports Clubs Graduate Assistant Joshua Gianitsis. This scheduling conflict has resulted in decreased membership and limited interest in many of the school’s sport clubs, said Volleyball Club President Kayla Cormier.
USF’s sport clubs – including indoor soccer, club basketball, badminton, men’s volleyball and women’s volleyball – use the two indoor gyms at the Campus Recreation Center for weekly practices. Intramural practices and women’s basketball games take precedence over sport clubs, and campus recreation has canceled the frequency of club practices by up to 300 percent.
Campus Recreation hosts women’s basketball home games in the North Gym this semester while the Sun Dome continues to be renovated.
During the spring semester of 2011, the women’s volleyball club hosted three two-hour practices and an open gym session every week. This semester the club was granted one two-hour practice session a week and no open gyms.
According to Cormier, membership in the club has declined over the last two semesters. Turnout at the spring try-outs was low. Without an open gym students cannot participate if they do not make the team.
The club plans to compete tournaments at the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida this month, as well as host a tournament at USF in April.
The lack of practice time makes it difficult for the club to compete with teams at schools such as UF, which practices three times per week, according to Cormier. The lack of available gym space has also made it difficult for Cormier to schedule the home tournament in April.
“It also hinders the teams’ ability to bond, which also affects our tournament play,” Cormier said.
The Sun Dome renovations were approved on June 8, 2011, and were originally expected to conclude in November of last year. However, in November project manager Stephen Lafferty told the Oracle that the Sun Dome would reopen after April 15.
“It is our expectation that we’ll be able to get some of our space back in the fall,” Gianitsis said.
According to Gianitsis, Sun Dome construction will continue into the summer.