It was so traumatic, Jeff Maul remembers everything that happened the day back in 2010 when the Nebraska School Activities Association board of directors voted to move the state high school volleyball tournament from Lincoln to Grand Island.
“I can even tell you what I had for lunch that day,” the executive director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau told the board on Thursday at their January meeting in Lincoln. Lincoln had hosted state volleyball from 1981 to 2009.
Of course back in those days, Maul’s proposal to the NSAA had the now-abandoned Pershing Center as the centerpiece facility.
Grand Island, which hosted four state volleyball tournaments between 2010-13, also made a bid Thursday, with the 6,500-seat Heartland Events Center headlining the proposal. Its bid also included a clause in which Grand Island and Lincoln would share the event with Grand Island hosting in years when Nebraska has home football games during the state tournament.
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He also said that 92% rated the hospitality in Grand Island as excellent or good.
But in the end, PBA, which has hosted United States women’s national team matches and international tournaments, and Devaney, the home of the Huskers, won out. First-round matches for the 2020 tournament will be played on two courts at PBA and four LPS high schools on Nov. 6. The semifinals will be on the two PBA courts Nov. 7, with all six championship matches at Devaney on Nov. 8.
Lincoln’s attendance for the 2019 tournament was 41,298, the most since the event moved back from Grand Island. The last year it was held in Grand Island, attendance was 31,754.
The Grand Island bid covered all NSAA expenses and a $10,000 incentive.
Pinnacle Bank Arena general manager Tom Lorenz told the board that two Taraflex courts, the same court the Huskers play on at the Devaney Sports Center, are being purchased and will be used for the 2020 tournament.
In other business, Sutton superintendent Dana Wiseman was introduced as a new board member from District 1 starting in the 2020-21 school year. She’ll replace Fillmore Central superintendent Mark Norvell, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Lincoln Public Schools athletic director Kathi Wieskamp is the other District 1 board member.
Girls wrestling needed 30 of 50 votes to be ratified at last year’s Representative Assembly, and the vote was 29-21 to approve.
A girls state high school wrestling tournament sponsored by the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association will be Feb. 1 at York.