Yesterday afternoon, Queen’s ARC was packed to capacity as 1,904 fans gathered for School Day to see the Gaels face off against the Volleyball Canada National Excellence Program.
The No. 9 nationally ranked Gaels OUA season is complete, but Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019 offered a unique experience, bringing students from across the Kingston region together to take in the exhibition match. The Volleyball Canada National Excellence Program (NEP) is designed to prepare athletes to perform at the highest level of volleyball and continue their development towards the National Senior Team Program, and/or playing professional volleyball. Those selected to the NEP are “committed to an investment in their future as an international athlete competing on the world stage,” Queen’s Athletics explained in a press release.
Schools in attendance to form the capacity crowd included Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Elginburg District Public School, Module Vanier, Amherst Island Public School, Sydenham Public School, JG Simcoe Public School, Molly Brant Elementary, Truedell Public School, Southview Public School, Granite Ridge Education Centre, Calvin Park, Enterprise Public School, North Addington Public School, Joyceville Public School, Lancaster Drive Public School and Amherstview Public School. Admission to the match was free for all schools, offered by Queen’s in partnership with Martin’s Bus Service.
The Gaels gave it their all against the Canadian team, and fell in three sets, albeit with some very close scores against some of the best players in the country. The three sets ended with scores of 25-23, 25-13, and 26-24.