In the fall of 2005 Furman volleyball became the first Southern Conference program to begin play in a volleyball-specific complex when it moved its home court from Timmons Arena into Alley Gymnasium.
“Alley Gym is such a great venue for volleyball because the scale of the facility is more in proportion to the size of a volleyball court,” said head coach Michelle Young at the time. “Our fans are right on top of the action, and the noise level is a major advantage for us when playing at home.”
The transition of Furman volleyball to Alley Gym actually began due to a scheduling conflict at Timmons Arena during the 2004 campaign.
“The atmosphere was so exciting for that first match that we knew this was where we need to play ,” added Young, whose team went on to post a 4-1 mark that year on their new home court.
This past year Furman posted a perfect 8-0 record in Alley Gymnasium as part of a 21-9 campaign, and over the past three seasons the Paladins have combined to go 27-2 in the facility (.931), including an 11-1 mark in 2009 as part of a program best 26-4 season that featured a perfect 16-0 regular season. In 2008 Furman won seven home matches on the way to a 21-14 season, SoCon Tournament championship, and NCAA Tournament appearance. Since moving into the facility the Paladins have forged a 53-15 home mark (.779).
Prior to the squad’s permanent move into the facility in 2005, the gym floor was stripped, repainted, and sealed in a volleyball specific design. In addition, the ceiling was replaced and new scoreboard, strobe lighting, and wireless internet hub installed. Seating for 500 was also provided. In 2007 air conditioning was added to the court area to make the facility even more fan friendly.
Another program enhancement was the procurement of a new, larger locker room, located just off the court, and new coaches’ offices in the building. In 2006 the Friends of Furman Volleyball (FoFV) helped celebrate the program’s new home by hosting a house warming party called “Rally in the Alley.”
Originally constructed in 1958, Alley Gymnasium has been used as a practice facility for all athletic teams over the years. It is named for former Furman basketball coach and athletics director Lyles Alley, who headed up the Paladin basketball program for over 20 years and coached All-America Furman performers Frank Selvy and Darrell Floyd, among others.