Playing on the road in the ACC is not easy, whether it's men's or women's basketball. Both the Virginia Tech men and women have found that out early this season. The men have lost at Wake Forest, Virginia, and Florida State, while the women have dropped games at Duke and Florida State.
Just like it is for the Hokies when they are on the road, it's not easy for teams to come into Cassell Coliseum to win a game. This season just the Miami men have been successful in winning in Blacksburg. In a poll of ACC players who are not members of the Virginia Tech men's team, Cassell Coliseum got the most votes for being the tough place to play in the ACC.
Syracuse and North Carolina State were mentioned by some of the players in the ACC, but most agreed that the Cassell Coliseum is one of the toughest places to play in the ACC. They mentioned the fans and them being on top of you compared to other areans.
Success has a lot to do in terms of filling arenas and that was never more the case for the women when they sold out Cassell a couple of weeks ago when they rallied in the fourth quarter to beat NC State on an Elizabeth Kitley basket with 0.9 seconds left. It was an amazing atmosphere, one where the Hokies used the energy from the crowd to complete the crazy comeback.
Following their loss to Virginia Tech earlier this month, Miami women's coach Katie Meier spoke about the crowd and how they support their team in a year coming off a trip to the Final Four. It's not your average women's basketball environment that a lot of venues see.
Cassell Coliseum is a unique arena and the fans make it a tough environment for visiting teams, something that can be very beneficial for Mike Young and Kenny Brooks' teams.