Women's team shoots for six thousand

Typically, universities recruit players to participate in NCAA basketball games -- not fans.

This game is certainly not typical.

Ball State's athletic department, along with the women's basketball team, is "searching for six."

The team has passed out 30,000 free vouchers to Saturday's game against Toledo throughout the Ball State and Muncie community -- visiting residence halls, local businesses, banks and gas stations along the way -- all because they want 6,000 fans at their game Saturday.

The team hopes to break the MAC attendance record of 5,660, set by Toledo at home against Western Michigan during the 1996 campaign.

According to head coach Tracy Roller, the team's game against Toledo is a perfect opportunity to break the record.

"What a better way to (break the attendance record)," Roller said. "To beat Toledo's attendance record against Toledo at Ball State -- that would be awesome."

Roller wrote a letter, which appeared in Wednesday's Daily News, promising to buy the student organizations or residence hall with the largest number of attendees 25 free pizzas for Sunday's Super Bowl.

Chris Taylor, assistant director of athletics communication, said the pizza party idea was entirely Roller's.

"That tells you the kind of person she is," Taylor said. "She's been the one who has spearheaded this, too, by going to the dorms and getting students involved."

Taylor, as well as Roller, said the marketing plan was not only meant to break the attendance record, but to give people in the community a chance to see for themselves a much-improved Ball State team.

"For a number of years (women's basketball) wasn't very good," Taylor said. "Over the last three years they've put together 50 wins, which is the most ever.

"We want to get the exposure that this team is good."

Roller said she also looks at the game, which will be televised on Fox Sports Ohio, as a good recruiting tool.

"We have a lot of recruits coming in this weekend," she said. "When recruits come and see people at games, that's what they want to see. This will help (recruiting) in Ohio with the TV game."

According to Taylor, the vouchers are redeemable on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students will be admitted with their Ball State IDs.


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