One of the most compelling NCAA Tournament finals in college men’s volleyball history will also go down as having the worst attendance for a championship match.
An all-time low in NCAA Tournament finals history of 2,419 people were in attendance for the MIVAgeddon IV as Loyola beat Lewis in a fifth-game overtime to win the national championship on Saturday in Stanford, California.
This was the second time in the 46-year history of the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament that at least 3,000 people were not in attendance for the finals. The previous lowest attendance was 2,738 people to watch UCLA defeat Ohio State to win the 2000 NCAA championship in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Unlike other recent NCAA Tournament, the host site of Stanford had the disadvantage of not having a local team in the NCAA Tournament field.
The Loyola versus Lewis championship match-up was the first time two non-West Coast schools played each other in the NCAA finals. In addition, no school in the NCAA Tournament field was located within 400 miles of the host site for the first time since 2009.
Attendance at the NCAA finals, though, was about an 800-person increase from the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday, which was the lowest semifinal attendance in 30 years.
The last time Stanford played host to the NCAA Tournament it had 6,530 people in attendance as the Cardinal on its home court won the 2010 national championship.
With its victory, Loyola became the fourth program in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball history to repeat as national champions. The Ramblers playing host to the NCAA Tournament last season won their first national title in front of sold-out crowd 4,485 people.