World League Men's Volleyball In Tulsa This Weekend

Thursday, June 23rd 2011, 4:29 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa is set to become center of the volleyball world this weekend. It's Team USA vs. Brazil at the Reynolds Center.

"It's going to be powerful, it's going to be high flying, it's going to be very fast," Ryan Millar, who plays for Team USA, said.

The match is part of the FIVB World League. A win in one of the two matches puts Team USA in position to play in the world finals in Poland.

Ray Hoyt, with the Tulsa Sports Commission, says the world will be watching Friday and Saturday night with the broadcast going live to 120 countries.

"Bring noise makers and drums and bells," Hoyt said.

He admits ticket sales are down but they do expect fans from at least 21 states and more than $300,000 will be pumped into the Tulsa economy.

The sports commission says it's very important for this event to do well here in Tulsa. It could be the key to getting more Olympic level sports here such as track and field, fencing, even team handball. It could also go a long way to help the city host another NCAA basketball tournament.

Coaches and players with Team USA say they enjoy coming to smaller markets like Tulsa.

"I'm excited to see the fans and the people here have been great, incredibly hospitable," John Speraw, Team USA Coach, said.

They also say the crowd tends to be more intense and it's a chance to spread their love of the game.

"We want volleyball to be popular all over the U.S.," Millar said. "It doesn't matter if it's just popular in California. We need it to be popular in Oklahoma, we need it to be popular in Iowa, we need it to be in the east coast. That's going to be benefit everybody."

The games are Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. and tickets are still available.  Prices range from $8 to $20.  They can be purchased at the Reynolds Center Box Office or online.