Home court advantage benefits soccer, volleyball teams

Home court advantage benefits soccer, volleyball teams

Home court advantage benefits soccer, volleyball teams
October 03
09:28 2013

Akshay Mirchandani/Staff Writer

Part of the success by the Mean Green volleyball and soccer teams this year is due to their fans – an average of 865 fans cheer on the soccer team at every home game and 453 fans cheer on volleyball at every home game.

The Mean Green volleyball and soccer teams are a combined 11-2-1 this season playing in the confines of the Mean Green Village.

“It has really been the foundation of this program, because we win probably over 90 percent of our games at home,” head soccer coach John Hedlund said. “Our reputation has been built on winning our games at home, so there’s a comfort zone when you play at home.”

This season, the soccer team is ranked first in Conference USA with an average of 865 fans per home game. Its only home loss was a 2-1 overtime defeat to Oklahoma State on Sept. 22. All time, the team is 57-8-5 at the Mean Green Soccer Stadium.

“It’s tremendous being at home,” senior defender Kelsey Hodges said. “We’ve had a very big fan base this year and it has really helped. You get a lot of motivation, and want to score the next goal when you have fans behind you like that.”

Volleyball has drawn an average of 453 fans per home game, which is fourth of the 16 teams in C-USA. The team feeds off the energy of a crowded Mean Green Volleyball Complex, which holds 600 at capacity.

“Having a home court advantage and having the crowd [going] for you and your team, you feed off of that,” Dillard said. “So eventually in the games, when you are making good plays and people are realizing it, everything’s hype and everything’s intensified.”

The volleyball team also boasts a pep band in the stands, who play music and cheer at every home game.

“The band does a great job,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “Not only do they play, but they also heckle the opponent’s server. They do a good job of that and I think sometimes it gets to [the other team] because you can’t hear everything that they’re saying.”

One of the biggest advantages playing at home is having friends and family in the stands to cheer them on.

“That’s something I look back on when I chose North Texas,” Hodges said. “Getting to see them after the game and every week at my games cheering me on is definitely big.”

The Green Brigade leads fans in the fight song after a win against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. Feature photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

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