By Kristen Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 17, 1997

Madness will help boost attendance

Even the volleyball team is reaping the benefits of UA's men's basketball national championship.

Tonight's match against Oregon State was changed to an 8 o'clock start to draw fans who enjoy the benefit of retaining their seats for Midnight Madness which follows the game.

"Pushing the game back gives us the opportunity to put the game in front of people to try to sell the game to the people in the city," UA coach Dave Rubio said.

The volleyball attendance record of 3,549 fans is expected to be shattered.

"I don't think the players realize how big this could be until they see the bodies in the seats," Rubio said. "I'd say there will be a minimum of four to five thousand at the match and anywhere to six to 10 thousand by the end of the match and that's a reality."

Playing in front of a huge crowd is nothing new for the Wildcats.

Rubio said the Wildcats played in front of about 9,000 fans at Hawaii in 1995.

Ironically, UA played at UCLA the night of the Bruins' Midnight Madness festivities following their 1995 men's basketball team title.

"There were tons of people (there) and fans kept pouring in as the match went on," junior Keisha Johnson said.

UA students are admitted to the volleyball match free with their student ID's. Tickets for adults are $4 and $3 for UA faculty, staff and senior citizens. After the match's second game, however, everyone will be allowed to enter free of charge.

"The good seats fill up for our games. If someone wants a seat in the front area, they pretty much better get there by the beginning of our match," senior Michelle Fanger said.

The Beavers and Wildcats each split their two matches last season. Oregon State is 10-9 on the season and 2-5 in Pacific 10 Conference play.

"As far as we're concerned, we're here to play Arizona and if they have a big crowd great. That's great for the sport," Beaver coach Jeff Mozzochi said. "I'm sure there will be die-hard basketball fans who are waiting for Lute Olson's team to come out but who are also die-hard Arizona fans and will be cheering loudly. It should be fun."

For the five seniors, they could see no better time to play in front of a record-breaking crowd especially considering that the Arizona State match last month, which was the annual break the record night, was somewhat of a flop with just 2,405 fans in attendance.

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