Davies Crazies boost team at home

Davies Crazies boost team at home

By Aaron Graff

Students, families and the swimming and diving teams were all in support of SIU volleyball to give Davies Gym its 10th highest attendance Friday against Indiana State.

Davies Gym held 615 fans in the Maroon Game on Friday. The Salukis defeated the Sycamores 3-1. Coach Justin Ingram said the team fed off the energy built up by the fans.

“There was no band and still this place was deafening,” Ingram said. “When that happens, it’s just constant energy relayed to our team. They love it. They embrace that kind of support. It helps each and every time we can get this kind of fan base to support our group.”


Ingram said the swimming and diving teams are one of the most supportive teams because they come in masses. He said he greatly appreciates SIU student athletes regularly attending.

The swimming and diving teams had their annual Saluki Strip and took off one article of clothing when the Salukis scored until they were down to just their swimsuits.

“It’s such a close-knit family as far as the teams supporting each other,” Ingram said.

It is not just student athletes attending though. Christopher Dion, a senior from Villa Park studying Civil Engineering can be seen at nearly every home game cheering the team on, and he goes the extra mile by making signs.

“I make a sign every game, but I might bring an old sign back if the team needs to see that message again,” Dion said.

Dion said he keeps coming back because of the excitement of the sport.

“I only went to one game my freshman year,” Dion said. “Just the excitement and the intensity of the game drew me in, so I’ve come ever since.”


Dion also recruited one of his friends to come to most of the matches with him. Michael Giusto, a junior from Lansing studying anthropology first came to the Saluki Invitational at SIU Arena in September.

“Chris invited me with the chance of getting on the big screen,” Giusto said. “I thought, ‘This is it. This is the opportunity, I’m going to be on the big screen.’ We did make it, dancing of all things.”

Giusto dances during every timeout, no matter what the music. He talked Dion into doing that with him.

“Usually I get bored really fast,” Giusto said. “I cheer my boredom by dancing through the timeout, because otherwise I’m staring at a blank gym. It pumps me up, it makes me want to keep cheering for the team.”

Giusto said he hopes the Salukis can see him dancing and be inspired to win.

The Salukis also see multiple families at every match. Freshman libero/defensive specialist Ashley Edelen’s father Jude Edelen and mother Laura Edelen have attended every match.

“Volleyball is kind of our vacation,” Jude said. “That’s all we do instead of going to Florida and the beaches. We’ve pretty much done the volleyball scene ever since Ashley was nine years old.”

The Edelen family resides in Louisville, Ky., but stays with family in Paducah, Ky. when the Salukis have multiple home matches in a weekend, making the majority of the cost gas money.

He said Ashley has always played for good teams, so it is slightly different watching this team since the Salukis are sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference. But, he said he sees a lot of young talent on the team.

“It’s kind of like watching a puzzle through the year,” Jude said. “I keep seeing little pieces every game and it’s starting to grow and grow. We’ve been to about every game this year and it’s fun watching and seeing how much they improved or the things that are different from game to game.”

Freshman middle hitter Alex Rosignol said fans likely do not understand how much they boost the team and how much the team appreciates their cheers.

Aaron Graff can be contacted at [email protected], on Twitter @Aarongraff_DE or 536-3311 ext. 269