July 31, 2013

Roadrunners may not play home volleyball matches at Dalton State

Devin Golden

— The Dalton State College women’s volleyball program will be the first to play a game during the school’s new sports era.

But the Roadrunners’ first home game won’t be at “home.”

Dalton State’s season opens Aug. 20 with a 7 p.m. match at Southern Wesleyan University, and the Roadrunners will follow that with seven more road dates before hosting Reinhardt University on Sept. 19. But Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh said renovations to Bandy Gymnasium have been delayed and the on-campus facility won’t be ready for the 6:30 p.m. match, which will instead be played at Dalton High School.

“There was a 60-day delay because when we did the bid process the first time, the bids came in and there were paperwork errors,” Waugh said. “There were errors in the way the bids were presented.”

Waugh didn’t know specifics about the errors, or which bidder or bidders committed them, but said the entire process had to be restarted.

“When that happens, per state rules, you can’t say, ‘Hey, go back and fix this,’” Waugh said. “You have to re-open the entire thing, put it out for bid again, wait the specific time for state requirements and basically do it all again. It was really all technicalities, and technicalities that were beyond our control.”

The team will also play its second home match, Sept. 21 versus Truett-McConnell, at Dalton High School, Waugh said.

Seven other home matches are scheduled, all in October, and all but the latter three are expected to be played at the Mack Gaston Community Center, a Dalton Parks and Recreation Department facility at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fredrick Street. The schedule released by Dalton State lists the final three matches of the season as being played at either the community center or Bandy Gym.

“We all want to be in the gym and we’re excited to get a new gym,” Dalton State volleyball coach Bruna Langner said. “At the same time, we’re excited to have a new team and have a chance to play. I think it’ll be good to play in the community center to get different people to see us, and hopefully next year when we’re in our own gym, hopefully the people who saw us in the community center come see us again.”

The Roadrunners’ regular-season schedule extends into November, but those dates are on the road. While Dalton State becomes an official member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics on Thursday, the school has not yet joined a conference and teams will play non-conference schedules during the 2013-14 school year.

“I would guess (gym renovations would) be done around mid-October,” Waugh said.

The Dalton Junior College Roadrunners men’s basketball team, which was active from 1969 to 1978, played home games at Bandy Gym. Waugh previously said the facility would be used for practice for men’s basketball and volleyball, along with volleyball home matches.

Last November, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the renovation project, which will be funded by the Dalton State Foundation’s John Willis Mashburn Charitable Trust. The renovations are expected to be about $425,000, Waugh said, and includes remodeling the entrance, replacing the floor and ceiling, inserting new wall pads and bleachers and putting in a new LED scoreboard.

“It’ll be a great venue for volleyball,” Waugh said.

“We’re not done in terms of renovations. We want to continue to improve Bandy Gym. I’d still like to enhance the entrance even more and make the building a centerpiece of campus.”

Dalton State’s schedule has 23 matches, plus a tournament at Columbus State University on Sept. 6-7. The team begins practice Aug. 5 at ChristChurch Presbyterian in Dalton.