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Women's basketball members root on fellow athletes

By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor

If you go to any college campus with an impressive athletics program, one may see a divide between different teams over the season. Viewing last week's volleyball match between Hofstra and Rutgers at the Physical Fitness Center, one could tell that this was not the case here. 

Though the stands are not always filled for volleyball matches, members of the Hofstra women's and men's basketball teams and men's soccer provided a raucous atmosphere, providing support for their fellow Pride athletes.

"We went to a couple of the games last year, but this year, we worked out with the volleyball team like every single day and we became really cool with them and now we try to see all of their games," said women's basketball's junior guard Candace Bond. "I think our support means a lot to them."

Bond and her teammates are not just passive onlookers to the game either; they are constantly on their feet attempting to psych out opponents, almost heckling them but in a respectful way. 

"[sophomore middle blocker] Anissa [Whitney] is my best friend on the volleyball team," said Bond. "So I was like ‘let's go to the game' and I feel like everybody wants to come." 

Members of volleyball's newest cheering section know how important having fans in the stands means to them. 

"We are like their sixth man," said women's basketball senior guard Candice Bellocchio. "We know how important it is to have support and we try to bring that to them."

The efforts did not stop there however. Bond branched out to other teams to try and rile up support. 

"I went to the men's basketball team and told them to come," said Bond. "Basically anyone I see I tell them ‘go to the games, go to the games'." 

It is apparent that the enthusiasm that is brought to the Physical Fitness Center helps the team and keeps them loose. A witty comment here or there will put smiles on the faces of any player no matter what situation the match is in. 

"It's important for us to get out there," said Bellocchio. "It's difficult playing in front of an empty crowd." 

It seems as though this booster club will be making appearances outside of Hempstead soon. 

"Even in the away games we kind of just want to get in the car and go," said Bond. "We were actually going to go to the game against Seton Hall, but everyone was busy but I think we'll be going to the game next week at NJIT."

The next time you hear a triumphant roar ring around campus, do not panic, it's only some of the rowdiest fans at Hofstra taking in a volleyball game.

Members of the women's basketball team cheer on the Hofstra volleyball team in last week's match against Rutgers. (Mike Viscardi/The Chronicle)

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