‘It’s very different’: Fan Fest kicks off at Gonzaga with an empty kennel

SPOKANE, Wash. — Fan Fest has been a longtime Gonzaga tradition to kick off the start of the women’s basketball season. 

No fans were allowed inside the kennel this year, however. It’s the latest tradition to fall due to COVID-19 precautions. 

Coaches and players got a feel for what the season could be like without any screaming fans in the stands. Women’s Head Coach Lisa Fortier says one of the best parts about Gonzaga is all the passionate fans. 

Players agreed Tuesday night felt different, however, they are grateful that they can at least play and practice. 

“It’s very different. I am very grateful I was given a chance to play in front of the fans last year. This year I think we’re just going to look on the positive side where we’re able to play now, instead of being just one wait or on hold,” said Kayleigh Truong. 

The Gonzaga women’s basketball team debuted at number 21 in the pre-season Associated Press poll Tuesday morning. 

That’s the first time since 2013 that they have started the year ranked. 

The team also released this season’s non-conference schedule. They only have one home game. That’s against Montana on December 13. 

GU women open their regular season November 28 against Oklahoma.