Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2022

A Whole New MAC : rah ! rah ! renovations By Chris Rosato Jr.

When the Mercyhurst women’s volleyball team was introduced before its f i rst home match of the 2021-22 season on S, ethpet.re17were some striking dif f erences from the last match they’d played at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center. With nearly a thousand ardent students, families, and fans packed into chair-back seating, the lights cut out as a pregame hype video played on two videoboards at either end of the court, followed by spotlights on the student-athletes as they ran out for the starting lineup. And all of it – hte seats, the court lighting, the twin videoboards, the spotlights, and even the court itself – was brand new. “That f i rst match playing in the new MAC was a true ‘wow!’ experience,” Volleyball Head Coach Ryan Patton said. “The obvious excitement of that fi rst night really has been replaced by a quieter excitement that this is our home gym now.” In addition to women’s volleyball, the MAC is home to men’s and women’s basketball and wrestling. Perhaps the most obvious renovation, noticeable for even the least observant spectators, is the orientation of the court. No longer facing east-west, the stage that previously separated fans from the court on the south side was removed and the court rotated 90 degrees. The new surface, named Owen McCormick Court after a major contributor to the Laker for Life Campaign, is f l anked on three sides by collapsible stands that extend just of the playing surface and can be retracted for expanded practice area. The south side of the court now features a new party deck overlooking the facility. “The old MAC was legendary. We loved playing there and had a lot of great games, but playing in the newly renovated MAC has been great, especially with the fans,” said men’s basketball senior guard MiyKah McIntosh. “It creates a better atmosphere with everyone closer to the court.” The renovations also included a new lobby area and an interactive

Mercyhurst Athletics Hall of Fame display. The Laker for Life Campaign has raised nearly $10 million, funding upgrades to all competition venues on campus. “Having the opportunity to play in the newly renovated MAC has been incredible,” said Meghan Komendarek, women’s basketball graduate student forward. “The renovations have created an atmosphere that allow us to compete at our greatest potential, from the physical space to the supportive and welcoming atmosphere that is fostered within it.”

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