It’s electric: Carrier Dome atmosphere energizes, unites student body

first_imgAnthony Herbert vividly remembers his first game at the Carrier Dome.Last September, Herbert watched as the Syracuse football team opened its season with a 15-point comeback win over Wake Forest.But the Orange’s play on the field isn’t what stands out from his experience that Thursday night.“After we won, I never got so many hugs from random people before in my life,” said Herbert, a sophomore information management and technology major. “That was probably the best way you could come in.”The Carrier Dome, the largest on-campus domed stadium in the country, has become synonymous with Syracuse. Since 1980, the arena has played host to a variety of milestones in Orange football and basketball history for three decades. And for students and the local community, it has also served as home to countless memories cheering for the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe venue, which has a capacity of nearly 50,000 for football games, will host its first game of the 2012 season for the football team’s season opener Sept. 1 against Northwestern. On that Saturday afternoon, freshmen will get their first taste of the Carrier Dome experience while upperclassmen carry on the student section’s game-day traditions.Senior Kacie Leonard grew up in nearby Camillus, N.Y., and frequently made the 15-minute ride for Orange basketball games. When she first walked inside the Carrier Dome more than 10 years ago, she recalled feeling overwhelmed by the size of the stadium, but she soon fell in love with the arena.And besides the photography program at SU, Leonard said sporting events were the main reason she wanted to attend Syracuse.Her love for the “Loud House” skyrocketed when she began going to games as a student.“I wish that I could be in the student section forever because there’s so much more energy than being in another part of the Dome,” she said. “The student section is a lot more fun than being a normal fan.”Chloe Slade, a senior communications major, said the atmosphere of the student section is unlike anything she has experienced at professional sporting events.Sitting with thousands of classmates, as opposed to thousands of strangers, adds an element of camaraderie, Slade said.“It’s really exciting because you’re with people your own age,” she said. “If you are sitting in the student section on game day, you know that you’re all there for the same reason.“You’re having a good time and hoping that Syracuse wins the game.”In basketball, SU is among the nation’s leaders in attendance each season.The Dome holds the record for largest on-campus attendance at a game with 34,616, set Feb. 27, 2010, against Villanova.Leonard, then a freshman, attended the Big East matchup that Saturday night two years ago, witnessing the Orange’s 95-77 victory over the Wildcats.“It was really exciting,” she said. “There were so many people sitting like all the way back in the Dome. It’s amazing to see that fans are that dedicated and come support the Orange no matter what, even if they’re sitting far away.”Besides taking in the action on the field and court, recurring chants and traditions are also memorable parts of each game.Slade said she enjoys seeing the fans show enthusiasm by painting their faces and bodies. Herbert looks forward to the “O” chant during the national anthem. And Leonard said she takes pride in constantly making noise during the games.“I don’t like when there is ever a quiet moment,” she said. “I always try to start the ‘let’s go Orange’ cheer. It’s fun just being as loud and as big a fan as possible.”Slade and Herbert recommend that freshmen preparing for their first season following the Orange get to the gates early —even two hours ahead of game time —for the best seats in the student section at highly anticipated matchups.Still, Slade said SU students are lucky their athletic teams play in the Carrier Dome, where they are guaranteed a seat unlike schools that have lottery systems.Slade recalls going to her first game as a freshman with several students from her floor, which is the “typical freshmen thing to do.” She took plenty of pictures, she said —more than she had ever snapped before —to remember the experience.And Leonard’s just looking forward to seeing the freshmen join the student section and add to the energy at SU’s games this year.“I hope that they can just get right into it and not be afraid to be as loud as possible,” Leonard said.pmdabbra@syr.edu Comments Published on August 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez end four-match losing streak against Louisville in 5-2 SU win

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Sprinting to the right corner of the court, Gabriela Knutson attempted a backhand over the shoulder volley shot to save the point. She hit the bottom of the net.Syracuse head coach Younes Limam jumped from his seated position and threw his hands up, directed toward No. 37 Knutson and Miranda Ramirez, who were down 0-2. A coach who rarely shows emotion toward his players during matches displayed a slight flash of fury in a desperate attempt at motivation.At the match’s next stoppage time, Limam pulled Knutson and Ramirez together and told them to keep their aggression up against Louisville’s No. 51 Abbie Pahz and Mariana Humberg. Limam told them they were playing the right way, it just wasn’t paying off early, Knutson said. After the 90-second exchange, Limam looked over to the opposing bench, changed his tone and said, “Great game, good job,” in the direction of the U of L players.“I wanted them to just hang in there,” Limam said, “If they stuck to the game plan, it would work out.”Knutson and Ramirez responded by taking six of the final seven games to end their four-match losing streak and help Syracuse (12-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast) take the doubles point en route to a 5-2 win over Louisville (13-5, 3-4). The win marks the pair’s first doubles win since March 2 after starting the season with seven straight victories.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBefore Sunday’s match, Limam said Knutson and Ramirez “needed to get more confident playing together” and work more as a team. After losing to four straight opponents currently ranked in the top 60, Knutson and Ramirez needed to change their ways against No. 48 Louisville’s top pairing.The match opened with shaky net play from both Knutson and Ramirez. Down 30-15 in the first game, Knutson and Ramirez missed back-to-back close volleys to drop serve.After splitting the next two games, Pahz and Humberg played two back defense on serves in an attempt to throw Knutson and Ramirez off. At 2-2, Pahz hit low forehands directed toward Ramirez. After sinking two straight shots into the net to go down 3-2, Ramirez found her groove near the net which opened the door for Knutson to break through.Knutson opened the sixth game with an easy volley winner after three consecutive off-balance shots high in the air which got the crowd into the match.Later in that game, Knutson had a chance to close the game, up 40-15, on a misfired ball from Humberg, but hit the net instead. Knutson threw her hands up and kicked the ricocheted ball into the net. Limam looked over toward her and motioned his hands up and down, attempting to calm her down.“You’re going to have ups and downs,” Limam said, “It’s tennis, but credit to the other team, they hung on awhile.”Despite the small moment of frustration from Knutson, the Orange won the next two games, and led 4-3. During a time of stoppage, Limam told the pair not to panic and sticking to the plan, he said, because U of L would try to throw them off.At the start of the eighth game of the match, Humberg attempted a drop serve, a move rarely used in college tennis, but Ramirez responded with a quick volley to the right corner of the court.“It was really strange,” Knutson said, “I kind of took it as a little bit of disrespect, but I’m just happy we could overcome (Pahz and Humberg’s tactics).”Leading up to match point at 5-3, Humberg motioned toward the umpire to lower the crowd noise in frustration. After a warning was issued to the crowd of nearly 50 people at Drumlins Country Club, U of L’s last-ditch effort ended when Ramirez swung a ball toward the back endline to close out the match, 6-3.Ramirez and Knutson won SU’s first doubles match of the day, and the Orange picked up the doubles point after it dropping it in two previous matches.“We did better than we did the last few matches,” Knutson said, “It’s not the best we can do, but I think we’re definitely on the right track.” Comments Published on March 25, 2018 at 4:08 pm Contact KJ: kjedelma@syr.edu | @KJEdelmanlast_img read more