High energy at volleyball games needs to be at every sport


Rob Le Cates

Autumn Schulz is a junior sports media relations major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

Cheering fans, loud music, and hyped-up players are all things that one can experience if they come to Lantz Arena for an Eastern volleyball game. The Panthers set a great example of what a sporting event on campus should look and sound like and it is time that it is replicated at other games, too. 

It is no secret that women’s sports are under appreciated by sports fans and under covered by various media outlets. 

As a woman in sports who has already faced issues for simply being a woman, this irritates me deeply. 

The women’s sports here at Eastern deserve much more support, there is no denying it. But why can’t we make the support even across all sports?

As a former athlete who played basketball and softball in high school, I got firsthand experience of what it was like to not have fans filling the stands and cheering us on because my high school was all about our boys’ basketball team. 

The only times the stands would be filled with fans would be during special events like raising money for breast cancer awareness or a special ceremony to send off senior players. 

So, I would enjoy those games the most because it felt like people truly wanted to be there. 

Although I think that is fantastic, the energy needed to be at all the games, not just a few, and that applies to the collegiate athletics here at Eastern as well. 

It is so refreshing to know that when I go to cover a Panther volleyball game, good energy will be surrounding a women’s team. 

I cannot tell you how much enjoyment I get from seeing the fan tunnel kick off the match, the loud music and clapping that fills the arena when the players are introduced, and how the fans erupt when the Panthers get a point.  

I commend coach Sara Thomas, her staff, and the volleyball players for creating an environment that fans  are thriving in.

As a journalist, I am not allowed to cheer for Eastern’s athletic teams. Therefore, I live vicariously through the fans at the games.

I think that each team should take after the volleyball team. 

They should do their best to keep a good vibe throughout the entire game or match. I know that is easier said than done sometimes. 

Therefore, it should not be all up to the team to have good energy, it is also on the fans to show up and cheer during the right moments. 

Do not cheer just when the team is doing well, cheer when things do not seem to be in favor of the Panthers, because that is when they need it most. 

There are other sports on campus that would love to have the same energy from fans and quite frankly, they deserve it.

It makes me sad to think that there are sports on campus and athletes that do not get the support they deserve from fans and others because they choose to only support one sport on campus rather than branching out and supporting other sports.

I get it, sports like football here on campus is a sport that people find easy to watch and cheer for.

However, I can only imagine what each game here at Eastern would look like if the same energy was brought as they are in other sports.

The intense cheering from Lantz Arena and the loud fireworks at O’Brien Field need to be heard and felt by all teams, regardless of what jersey they are wearing.

Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]