BAKERSFIELD,Calif.- Interim Director of Athletics Ziggy Siegfried has announced a major financial gift from Steve and Lori Barnes to help complete further improvements at CSUB’s new sand volleyball facility which opened this past Spring as CSUB’s newest athletics’ facility in conjunction with the Student Recreation Center.
The major donation by the Barnes family will not only help complete future phases of the project including the installation of nearly 70 palm trees and new decorative facility signage, but thanks to the generosity, the facility will now be known as the ‘Barnes Beach Volleyball Center.’
“Steve and Lori Barnes were involved from the get-go with a very generous initial gift and were even involved in the planning of this facility”, Siegfried said. “We’re very fortunate; with a new program Steve has been very involved in transforming our sand volleyball program and for that we are very appreciative.”
Barnes has been involved with volleyball and specifically beach volleyball for several decades, when he learned CSUB was starting a sand volleyball program in 2013, he immediately became involved.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, working with CSUB, the management, the coaches, the staff, everybody has been wonderful,” Barnes said. “After seeing the courts built and seeing how well the girls were playing and getting to know Olivia Simko (head sand volleyball coach), my wife and I decided we want to help even more.”
Barnes also said that the hiring of Giovana Melo as Director of Volleyball was a major factor in their decision to donate even more to the facility.
“What sealed it was meeting Giovana; I think she’s icing on the cake for the program,” Barnes said. “That made us really want to finish this off.”
Siegfried says while many people donate to the program, very few continue to be is actively involved as the Barnes family.
“People know that Steve is very passionate about volleyball and sand volleyball in the community,” Siegfried said. “ I also know how enthusiastic he is about the student-athletes and how much he cares about them so it’s just real rewarding to see someone who’s made a gift but is also still an active part of the program.”
Apart from the newly-installed palm trees and future aesthetic improvements, Barnes says there’s not too much more that needs to be done to the facility, but would like to see the program continue to thrive.
“I would like to see more community involvement,” Barnes said. “That’s one of the things that I’m very excited about now is bringing up the attendance.”
The initial construction of the Barnes Beach Volleyball Center was completed in spring of 2014 thanks to a partnership between Roadrunner Athletics and the CSUB Student Recreation Center. The facility is the primary practice and home courts for CSUB sand volleyball but is also available for use by CSUB students and can be rented out by community groups and clubs as well.