Fans cheer at the University of Georgia volleyball game against North Carolina State at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia, on Thursday, Sep. 19, 2019. The Bulldogs defeated the Wolfpack in four hard-fought sets. (Photo/Caroline Barnes)

The University of Georgia Athletic Association announced its policies and procedures for the upcoming volleyball season. The UGAAA will allow fans to attend games in Stegeman Coliseum starting on Oct. 17 when the Bulldogs host South Carolina in the season opener.

In coherence with the university's on-campus COVID-19 policy, the stadium will require fans to wear face coverings as well as implementing social distancing measures. Tickets to the events will not be required and entry will be free to the public until full socially distanced capacity is reached.

“In preparation for the volleyball season, we used the same methodology we used at Sanford Stadium to maintain social distancing while maximizing our capacity,” said senior deputy athletic director Josh Brooks. “We feel we have a great plan to keep student-athletes, staff and fans safe while enjoying events at Stegeman Coliseum.”

The effort to raise morale and reach a level of normalcy is appreciated by both the players and head coach Tom Black. Black sees the situation as a boost to his team and is excited to play in front of fans come late October.

“We cannot wait to have our fans back in Stegeman getting behind us as we compete this fall,” said Black. “We want to thank Greg McGarity, Josh Brooks, and the UGAAA administration for their tireless work to make this happen.”

The UGAAA will keep a close eye on each contest and guidelines are subject to change.

Besides the two matches against the Gamecocks, Georgia will host Alabama in the final two home matches of the season on Nov. 7 and 8.

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