The Queens Men’s Volleyball team secured promotion to the 7 Financial Men’s National League after finishing second in the Men’s First Division. Although Ballymoney Blaze finished top of the Men’s First Division NIVA rules only allow one team from each affiliated club in the National League.
Head Coach Patrick Crooks said “Although we did not win the First Division, with all credit due to Ballymoney on their success I still feel gaining promotion is ‘mission accomplished’. Queen’s University has an immense talent pool in terms of the quantity and quality of players, but what we have needed for a while now is the chance to train and compete together regularly at the top level. This was most evident at BUCS finals in Sheffield just a few weeks ago where we lost 3 games by 3 points or less most likely because of our inexperience in terms of playing together as a team”.
Patrick continued “The National League slot will allow us to develop our experienced individuals into a solid unit whilst keeping up our championship winning CUSAI league team to allow a competitive outlet for our newer players to gain valuable match experience. I hope this promotion will usher in a period of stability and success at varsity and club level that will create volleyball enthusiasts from those who have never played before coming to Queen’s. My ambition is that these players will in turn feed into other clubs after graduation when seeking employment throughout the province, leading to a healthier future for Northern Ireland Volleyball”.
North Down will unfortunately be playing in the Men’s First Division after being relegated from the 7 Financial Men’s National League.