Inside Athletics

Joseph C. Rolle Activity Center

The Joseph C. Rolle Activity Center, located on the south end of the Northern Arizona University Campus, has been the home of the NAU Volleyball team since 1989. The team previously used the now-razed Lumberjack Gym as their home for 15 seasons.

Housing an always enthusiastic home crowd, the Lumberjacks continually rate among the Big Sky’s best in home attendance in the Rolle Activity Center. The facility offers four complete volleyball courts, which the Lumberjacks use for their practices, with a single court in the center used for home matches. The court was redesigned to reflect NAU’s new visual identity in June 2015 and the facility received new bleachers following the 2011 season increasing its capacity to 1,210 fans.

During NAU’s record-breaking championship season in 2015, the Lumberjacks used their home court to their full advantage completing the first unbeaten season slate at 7,000 feet. NAU compiled an unblemished 14-0 record at home, culminating in a three-set sweep in front of a school record and sellout crowd of 1,423 fans over Idaho State to clinch the program’s second ever Big Sky Tournament title.

Overall, the Lumberjacks have posted a winning home record in eight of the last nine seasons, including a dominant 35-3 mark over the last three seasons. In addition to the first undefeated home schedule in school history, the 14 victories inside the Rolle Activity Center in 2015 set a new school record for home wins in a season.

While serving as the volleyball headquarters, the Rolle Activity Center is also used by the NAU men’s and women’s basketball teams as a practice facility and home arena for early-season games when the NAU football team is still competing and using the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome. The Rolle Activity Center is also used for open recreation, intramurals and classes in addition to housing the NAU men’s and women’s club volleyball teams.

The NBA’s Phoenix Suns recently returned to Flagstaff in 2013 after a nine-year hiatus and has used the Rolle Activity Center as the site for the start of their preseason training camp for the last three years. The facility also has served as the training camp home for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

The Rolle Activity Center was dedicated in the name of Dr. Joseph C. Rolle for his contributions as both an administrator and professor at NAU. He and his wife, Marie, annually give the Rolle Award to the most valuable player on both the NAU men’s and women’s basketball teams. Rolle passed away in February 2011 at the age of 93.

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