Canada’s top eight men’s collegiate volleyball programs will be in Niagara next week to vie for a national title, as Niagara College hosts the 2013 Ironwood Wealth Management Group CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship March 7-9.
“We look forward to welcoming the best of collegiate volleyball to our college and our region,” said Sean Kennedy, NC’s vice president, student and external relations, at a media conference today for the championship launch. “Our Athletic Centre was built to host provincial and national-level sporting events, and we’re pleased to bring such a high-profile championship to our community.”
In order of ranking, the following teams will compete for the championship: Red Deer College Kings; Capilano University Blues; Nipissing University Lakers; Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Trojans; Vancouver Island University Mariners; CÉGEP de l’Outaouais Griffons; Niagara College Knights; and the University of Kings College Blue Devils.
As the seventh-ranked team in the nation, the home-team Niagara College Knights men’s volleyball program has earned a berth in the championship, and will open against second-ranked Capilano University Blues at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 7.
Opening-round games will run on Thursday, March 7 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The consolation round is played at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, March 8, and semi final games take place that night at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 9, begins with bronze qualifier round games at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., the 7th/8th place game at 2 p.m., the bronze medal game at 6 p.m. and the gold medal game at 8 p.m.
“This is a unique opportunity for local sports fans to see national-calibre collegiate athletics and cheer on the Niagara College Knights right here at home,” said Matthew Davies, NC’s manager of athletics and recreation.
NC has been planning the championship for more than a year, with athletics coordinator Ray Sarkis serving as championship chair — taking the lead on the marketing, event management, sponsorship and volunteer recruitment for the national event.
“It’s a tremendous honour to be hosting one of the most prestigious collegiate events in the nation,” said Sarkis, who also served as chair of the successful 2011 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championships. “I hope everyone will come out and enjoy some of the best volleyball action they’ll ever see.”
The Knights enter the championship following a successful season that saw them ranked as high as first in Ontario and third in Canada. They recently finished fourth in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) championship.
“Playing for a national championship gives our student-athletes experience at the highest level, and helps us continue to build a successful program at Niagara College,” said Nathan Groenveld, head coach of the Niagara College Knights men’s volleyball program. “Competing at this level is key to our ongoing development and will help our program take the next step.”
Niagara College’s bid to host the CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship was approved last year having received the unanimous support of the CCAA board – largely on the basis of its previous success as host of a national championship.
“Niagara College has a reputation for hosting a superb Championship, having recently hosted the 2011 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship, which raised the bar for future hosts and was nominated for the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Prestige Award,” said Sandra Murray-MacDonell, executive director of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
Admission to Championship games is $10 for adults and $5 for students at the door. A Championship pass is available for $25. The full schedule of games and results, as well as live-streaming is available online at www.ccaa.ca/mensvolleyball2013.
View BRTF coverage of the media conference here.
View TV Cogeco’s coverage of the media conference here.