Texas fans fill Gregory Gym for Texas Two Step
Aug. 22, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Volleyball team has grown accustomed to playing for a packed Gregory Gym, usually against big-time rivals like Texas A&M or Nebraska.
But on a weekend morning in late August? For a preseason Orange-White scrimmage?
That was the reality on Saturday, as the Texas Volleyball and Football teams joined forces to stage the Texas Two Step: The Ultimate August Autograph Outing. Football held its annual fan appreciation day inside of the gym, and the thousands who waited in line for autographs also filled the gym to the rafters, watching on as the volleyball team played under the lights.
A married couple drove in on Friday with their small toddler, and waited all night in lawn chairs outside Gregory Gym to be among the first to get autographs from the football team. But they were so enthralled by the action on the volleyball court, they remained with many other fans to get volleyball autographs after the scrimmage.
That was the goal when Football head coach Mack Brown and Volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott started this association last year.
"Our volleyball staff has done a tremendous job. Now that they have a chance every year, like our football team, to play for a national championship, what we are trying to do is bring more attention to our volleyball team," Brown said. "We would love to see Gregory Gym packed every time they play, just like we are in Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
"We have a great family atmosphere in our athletic department. All of our sports sincerely care about one another. That doesn't happen at a lot of places."
As the football players signed on the elevated stage, the Longhorns played a three-set match, and put on a show. Destinee Hooker and Bailey Webster showed off vertical leaps that touch nearly 11 feet, and balls flew around at about 80 miles an hour.
"Mack has been a big part of our program growing," Elliott said. "Those are the things people don't get to see as much -- the stuff he does behind the scenes to help our department.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for our team to showcase its talent to some people who maybe have never seen volleyball. People, once they watch it, usually end up coming back."