Maturi Pavilion is where the Gophers can count on big crowds for support

A longtime fixture at Williams Arena, Elvera “Peps” Neuman brought her crowd-rousing cheer to the volleyball court a few years ago, getting people on their feet by running down the sidelines and waving a Gophers blanket.

McCutcheon said playing at home offers genuine benefits in the postseason, with no travel hassles or missed classes to worry about.

He doesn’t view the Pav as a particularly unique building; several other Big Ten gyms, he said, have similar tight quarters and modest capacities.

But a season-ticket base that has more than tripled since 2015, and demand high enough to attract ticket scalpers, has created an atmosphere that gives the Gophers an edge.

The Gophers have a building with no air conditioning — a Sept. 15 match against Kansas State was canceled because it was too hot — and seats so close to the end lines that some players are only inches away when they serve.

Though catcalls are discouraged — a sonic boom is their weapon of choice — the close quarters give them a sense of connection to the Gophers, and to the outcome.

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