(Aubree Stamper/MJ}

By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor

After months of watching patiently – the wait is now over.

As a new wooden floor has been in place for a few weeks now, all that was left was to have University of Michigan-Dearborn athletes competing on it.

Well that box can now be checked off.

The UM-Dearborn volleyball team played their first home game of the season on Sept. 14 and to make it even more special it was the first real game played on the wooden floor that was built over the summer.

As you can imagine the team was excited to not only finally get to play at home after opening up the season with their first 11 games away from the Fieldhouse, but to be the first UM-Dearborn team to play on the new floor.

“It’s exciting anytime you get to be the first for anything it’s special,” volleyball head coach Eric Stark said. “You want to come out and show who you are and christen the floor the right way.”

Sophomore Kristina Ivanovic said that her team has been excited to just be practicing on it and to come back home and get a real game on it is great.

“We were really excited, practicing even we super excited to get on the floor and start testing it out and see how it would be any different and getting all the kinks out with the new floor,” Ivanovic said.

Stark and his players were hoping for a better result as they fell to Indiana Tech in three straight sets. The loss broke up the Wolverines’ six game win streak.

The new floor is like a toy you get on Christmas as a kid. It’s new, it’s shiny, and it’s exciting to have. There were numerous comments throughout the Fieldhouse regarding with how nice the floor looked.

The navy blue painted sidelines with “Wolverines” painted in maize makes it feel more like home. And when recruits come in it will make them more willing to call the Fieldhouse home.

As UM-Dearborn Athletic Director Matt Beaudry pointed out that the best part about the new floor is seeing the student-athletes getting to play on it.

“We first and foremost accomplished this to help the programs and student-athletes (get) better facilities,” Beaudry said. “Watching today even though the result I’m sure the team would want to see differently but that’s competition and sport and live for another day and we’ll have another opportunity to compete and look forward to watching many great accomplishments over the years.”

Beaudry echoed the comments about the floor saying it looks “very, very good” but he went on to preach the effort by not just those who actually built the floor but the support staff around campus that led to the project coming together.

“It’s been a pretty extensive process many individuals involved, Foster Flooring who led the project as well as others across campus who facilitated the process we’re all extremely excited and think it looks great.”