The UC Merced Women's Volleyball team played the first varsity home game ever on the budding campus. And the bobcats finally won their first game ever.

More than 500 family members, student and faculty packed into the gym to watch history being made at UC Merced Thursday.

The 'cats volleyball team served up the first point that would lead to a win for the first varsity home game. "It feels good because we know we're making history here at UC Merced," said volleyball player Valeria Martinez.

Jane Lawrence, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs said while only four UCM teams are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics this fall, there is much room for growth both on campus and around the community.

"As the campus gets bigger, we will bring more outside visitors to the campus to see athletic events," Lawrence said. "We're clearly going to have other teams coming to Merced who are going to stay in motels, go eat in restaurants."

One business already profiting from the new campus teams is McNamara Sports.

The family-owned store, which has been around since the 1920's, is now making the new Bobcat uniforms. Store owner, Dan McNamara said that's good news for his struggling store.

"It's been pretty rough the last few years. The UC's kind of been a shot in the arm," McNamara said. "So, that's kind of our savior right now, it's our bright spot so we hope they continue to prosper."

Back on campus, as the Bobcats finally break the four game losing streak that started their inaugural season students are just proud of be part of this milestone.

"I can tell my kids, in the future, that I was here when it first all started," said UCM junior Ivan Sinkevich.

The match against Pacific Union was a sellout.

The women's volleyball team will host the university's second home game on Saturday against Cal State San Marcos. The match starts at 5pm.

http://www.ucmercedbobcats.com/index.php

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u.c. merced, merced, north valley, sports, rick montanez
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