A young fan in the stands during the volleyball match against Georgia and Tennessee in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (Photo/Caitlin Jett)

Despite Georgia volleyball’s .500 season and 4-11 SEC record, its fans continue to show up to meets and cheer the Bulldogs on.

Before their match against Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday, Georgia volleyball hosted events including face painting, balloon making and gift card giveaways for their fans. These events, and others, foster ties between fans and the team.

Jennifer Stolarik has been attending Georgia volleyball games a few times a season with her two daughters, ages 13 and 10, for about three years now. Their hometown of Monroe, Georgia, is only about 30 minutes outside of Athens. This allows them an easy commute on nights that the team hosts special events. Stolarik children participated in the face paint activity at Thursday’s game.

“It always makes it more interactive for the kids and they want to come back more,” Stolarik said. “My oldest always wants to come, so bringing the little one along- she enjoys it more when they have those kinds of things.”

Fans are not the only ones that benefit from these types of festivities. Freshman opposite hitter Mallory Hernandez said that greater quantities of fans showing up for the matches helps the team play well.

“A lot of fans equals a lot of noise and a great crowd that cheers us on,” Hernandez said.

Since making the move from Ramsey Student Center to Stegeman Coliseum, Georgia has seen an average of 1,340 attendees per game. Head coach Tom Black has seen the impact of this attendance growth on his team.

“Obviously the home crowd is huge for us, that’s something we want to keep building,” said Black. “We know we obviously got to give them a product that they’re excited to come out for, and we really appreciate their support.”

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