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UJ VB Says Goodbye to the Hansen

Barring major upsets during this week’s North Star Athletic Association conference tournament, the Jimmies’ opening-round match against Dakota State tonight will be the last competitive match played inside the Hansen Center.

Originally built in 1923 as a memorial to veterans of World War I, the Hansen Center at one time contained the first indoor swimming pool in North Dakota.

A major renovation to Memorial Gymnasium in 1993, funded primarily by alumni Gordon and Charlotte Hansen, largely turned the Hansen Center into what it is today.

The University of Jamestown is scheduled to unveil the state-of-the-art Harold Newman Arena in August. The $15 million, 61,000-square-foot athletic complex currently under construction on campus will be the Jimmies’ new home.(Arena Current Progress)

“The Hansen Center can make for a very intimate setting,” said Tom Heck, who coached the Jimmies from 1983 to 1996. “You can really get the crowd going in there, because they’re right on top of the action. It was a good home-court advantage to have.”

The Jimmies have dominated play inside the tight confines of the Hansen Center for nearly a decade.

Jamestown’s record at home is a remarkable 87-10 dating from 2008. The Jimmies have also either won or shared a part of six conference championships during that span.

Constructed without the sport in mind, volleyball at the Hansen Center has been an experience unto itself for players.

The ceiling can appear to close in at times as fans pack into balconies on both ends of the court. But players wearing orange and black cherished the intimacy.

“I don’t even know a word to explain it,” current senior libero Nicole Warren said. “The atmosphere really plays to how we defend, and when you get those digs up and the crowd goes wild, it helps bring us to the next level.

The move will certainly be a large leap forward, but Jimmie volleyball and success will forever be linked to the Hansen Center.

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Posted:November 8, 2016


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