Boston College volleyball officially has a new home for the foreseeable future.
The Eagles welcomed fans to their new home court, located on the third floor of the Margot Connell Recreation Center, when they hosted Duke on Sept. 25.
For head coach Jason Kennedy, the relocation brings an improved gameday atmosphere, improved training facilities for players, and matches that are more accessible to the BC student body.
“It’s something we’re really excited about now that we’re starting to see the final product come together,” Kennedy said.
The Margot Connell Recreation Center—also known to students as “the Plex”— is available for free to all BC undergraduate students and is a hub for students to work out, play basketball, and engage in various other athletic activities.
“If you’re working out, I think it attracts a lot more community because you can hear it going on from the gym,” said Molly Abbott, MCAS ’25, during the BC’s Sept. 29 game against Bryant. “And from the fourth floor, you can see what’s going on, and it invites more fans.”
Due to the construction of Hoag Basketball Pavilion, BC was forced to leave its old facility, Power Gym. But the move has provided the Eagles with the opportunity to experience something they have never had before, according to Kennedy
“It’s pretty fun to have a volleyball facility for the first time on this campus,” Kennedy said.
BC volleyball previously had to share Power Gym with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, who practiced there but played their games in Conte Forum.
“I think we’ve been a little bit behind from a facility standpoint,” Kennedy said. “This gets us a lot closer to what the rest of the conference has. A lot of the conference competes in volleyball-only facilities. This gives us a chance to have a space that’s our own and be able to work out of it.”
Having a volleyball-specific facility has enabled BC to utilize equipment more efficiently and have flexible access to its court. It’s also proving to be a boost from a recruiting standpoint, Kennedy said.
“I think it’s huge for recruits,” Kennedy said. “We’ve got a couple of practice courts. It’s a great setup for us.”
And while the move has been popular among students due to the convenience of its location, the smaller venue size has also changed the viewing experience of volleyball matches.
“I think it’s a little bit cooler than where it was before, just because it’s a little smaller of an environment,” said Alfonso De Vito, CSOM ’25, during the Bryant game. “It feels more crowded than before.”
Kennedy can already see the effect the new location has had on student attendance.
The Eagles boast a 13–5 record on the year, and three of their matches have ended in a thrilling fashion. BC’s ACC matchups against Syracuse and Duke were highly competitive with the Eagles coming within a set of defeating Syracuse. Earning a win over Duke at home, however, was a season-defining moment thus far.
“[In] our first home match against Duke, the bleachers were full, students [were] up and around the track, and it was the best atmosphere for a volleyball match I’ve seen since I’ve been on this campus,” Kennedy said.
The new location, however, is not unanimously favored.
“Are you sure? Look at the location again,” Arella Kluvitse, MCAS ’24, asked when she was told by a friend that BC’s game would be played in the recreation center. “It kind of looks like a high school.”
“People running around the top, it’s kind of distracting,” said Joanna Nie, LSEHD ’24, regarding the track open to students on the fourth floor.
The Eagles, however, look forward to more packed crowds, and it certainly envisions more and more fans packing the stands as the season progresses.
“You’re going to get a lot of people just walking into this building, not intending to come to a volleyball match, that swing by and maybe they fall in love with the sport,” Kennedy said. “Maybe they stick around for a little bit and learn a little bit about it.”