V-ball: Queen's to host men's nationals in 2012

The Queen's Gaels have been awarded the 2012 CIS men's volleyball championship, eight weeks to the day of its opening of the Queen's Centre.

Obviously, it's a pretty big coup for Gaels coach Brenda Willis and AD Leslie Dal Cin. It will be the first time Queen's has hosted a national championship in a winter team sport, and several players off their present roster, including outside Joren Zeeman (second-year), middle Anthony Pitfield and libero Alex Oneid, would potentially still be on the team. Via the press release:
"The entire Eastern Ontario region has a strong core of avid volleyball followers," said Dal Cin. "Our new venue combined with additional areas of athlete support and general excitement about volleyball in Kingston will make this a memorable event for participants and fans alike."
The construction of the Queen's Centre has had the usual controversies (cost overruns, the decision to scrap an arena and the way some student fees that went to the construction were passed). However, getting a national championship is something new for the university and for Kingston. The region has been on a building booms with arenas; in fact, the three big junior hockey teams, the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, OJHL's Kingston Kimco Voyaguers and the Junior C Napanee Raiders all play in rinks which are less than five years old. (Kingston Mayor Harvey Rosen said last night that the Voyageurs will host the RBC Cup in three years ago, so there could be more big stuff going on in K-town in 2012.)

The men's v-ball is out west for the next two years (Thompson Rivers in '10 and Trinity Western in '11). Laval will host in 2013. All told, the CIS announced hosts for 13 championships in v-ball, soccer, cross-country and athletics today.

Queen's has the CIS cross-country championships this fall; previously, the only nationals they had hosted were cross-country in '99 and men's soccer back in '91.

(It was almost cold enough that day in '99 for cross-country to count as a winter sport.)
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