By Jordan Booker
Xavier University of Louisiana Athletics hosted the Big Easy Blast-Off volleyball tournament, but it was not at the university’s Convocation Center on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. It took place at the University of New Orleans’ Human Performance Center, and this is because of damages to the Convocation Center that took place right before the start of the semester.
Due to a domestic water pump springing a leak on to the first floor of the building, the Convocation Center does not have the ability to be the host for the upcoming games and campus events according to Xavier’s Athletic Department. This damage happened on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, and the leak spread water that flooded the locker rooms and 85-percent of the gym floor.
` “The damage to the gym floor was so severe that we must replace it,” said Nathan Cochran, the executive director of Athletics and Recreation for the university. “In addition, the standing water under the floor has damaged all the wiring for the scorer’s table and sound system. We must also replace this wiring,” Cochran said in a statement.
The news of the damage to the first floor only comes a year after it was installed in the Convocation Center. That update to the gymnasium floor occurred nine years after the opening of the Convocation Center in November of 2012. The sound system and scorer’s table that was also damaged is state of the art technology which made its debut at the opening of the Convocation Center.
With the Convocation Center out of commission, the effects of the damage can not only be felt by the athletes and their season, but it has also impacted the whole campus.
“With the damage to the floor, we’ve had to move our practices to the Fitness Center, which has certainly impacted gym availability for XULA students. On the downside not competing in our home gym has cut down on the possibility of XULA students/faculty watching our matches, and us using our home court advantage,” said Patricia Kendrick, the head coach (of women’s volleyball and assistant athletic director.
This effect will not only be felt during the current volleyball season, but during the upcoming basketball season as well. At the moment the timeline for repairs to the building indicates that convocation center is likely to not be in use in time for Xavier’s annual Homecoming festivities in the beginning of November
“Work on the floor has started, but there is a chance that there will not be a home volleyball or basketball game this semester. According to the schedule provided by maintenance, the floor should be ‘substantially complete’ by November 7, 2022. We are still waiting to see what that level of completion looks like,” said Cochran, when asked about what the upcoming seasons look like.
While the Convocation Center is still under repair the women’s volleyball season will continue to take place at the University of New Orleans Human Performance Center. This was confirmed when the Athletic Department announced that they finalized their home schedule for the rest of the season. Their next match is Sept. 17, 2022, at 1:00 pm against Texas College and can be watched live on Xavier Athletics live stream on YouTube.
“The energy that the fans brought made it fun playing in the Convocation Center. We’re playing in the Recreation Center and were going to make the most out of what we have right
now. But I do miss playing in the CC (Convocation Center) and when we get back to it, it’s going to be fun,” said Lance Williams, a starting point guard for Xavier’s men’s basketball team.