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Douglas to host 2016 men's volleyball nationals

The Douglas College Royals elevated to No. 1 in the country a day before receiving the good news
Douglas College VB
The Douglas College men's volleyball program is No. 1 in Canada and the host for the 2016 CCAA nationals

This week has brought great news for the Douglas College Royals.

The men’s volleyball program first learned it had been elevated to first overall in Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association rankings.

A day later the college’s bid to host the 2016 men’s national volleyball championships was approved at the assosciation’s winter board meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The championship tournament will take place at the New Westminster campus next year from March 9 to 12.

“We found out we’re were getting the nationals and that we are ranked No. 1 in the nation. It’s been an exciting two days,” said Hudson. “It just gives the team a little shot in the arm and enthusiasm.”

Douglas, which has captured 41 national titles and 52 provincial crowns over the years, hosted CCAA national championships in men’s soccer in 2003 and 2012, while also hosting the nationals in badminton in 2008.

While Douglas has celebrated those successes in other sports, men’s volleyball is really just taking off by national standards under the mentorship of Hudson.

“Our men’s volleyball program consistently performs at the highest echelon of the sport and continues to have a presence on the national stage,” said Brian McLennon, Manager of Athletics at Douglas in a CCAA press release. “We are confident this event will serve as a platform for high performance sport, student engagement, and experiential learning for the participating teams and the entire College community.”

The team won a silver medal in 2012 and would have gone to the nationals the following year if not for a huge upset at the provincials in 2013. Last season, the Royals finished sixth at the nats.

There is a lot of pride in the program, Hudson said.

“These guys know that this wouldn’t have happened without those others who toiled in the program,” he added. “Getting to host is an honour.”

Canadian Paralympian Rick Hansen and hall of fame wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick have confirmed their involvement at the event.

In addition, to celebrate the heritage and culture of the New West Qayqayt First Nation community, a traditional welcoming will be part of official opening ceremony at the national championship banquet.

Hudson believes hosting the nationals will be a further shot in the arm to the steadily improving program.

“We’re excited to have this event coming to our community. It could change everything. It’s an exciting time, for sure,” Hudson said.

The 2015 CCAA men’s volleyball national championship will be hosted by Holland College in Charlottetown, P.E.I. from March 11 to 14.