Now serving: men#039;s volleyball

by Beacon Staff • March 28, 2007

men's volleyball.The sport is emerging as a popular

NCAA sport, and Emerson is jumping on the bandwagon.At the start of construction on the new facility, Rudy Keeling,

Emerson's athletic director, and Roger Crosley, coordinator

of athletic operations, both began contemplating what fresh additions the department could make since it would soon have its own gym.,With the addition of the new Piano Row Gymnasium comes the possible addition of a new athletic team at Emerson College:

men's volleyball.

The sport is emerging as a popular

NCAA sport, and Emerson is jumping on the bandwagon.

At the start of construction on the new facility, Rudy Keeling, Emerson's athletic director, and Roger Crosley, coordinator

of athletic operations, both began contemplating what fresh additions the department could make since it would soon have its own gym.

"When we built the new gym, one of the things we were looking at was what sports we could logically add to there, and one of those was men's volleyball," Crosley said. "Now that we don't have to rent spots all over town, it's easier to have more teams practice here."

Keeling is excited about the prospect of the new team.

"I'd like to have 15 kids that could compete [by the close of the school year]," Keeling said. "If we had 15, I think we could have a pretty good team."

There will be minimal extra costs to starting the team, Keeling said, thanks to the new gym. He is looking to hire a coach who will be in charge of both women's and men's volleyball at Emerson.

"Looking at other schools, that's what they've done and it seems like it works," Keeling said of the coaching idea. "It makes for a long season for the coach, but if it's a full-time position, it'd be what they did most of the year."

Women's volleyball season begins at the start of school in the fall, while men's follows the same season as hockey, which starts a little before basketball season and ends a little after.

"There are a couple other schools in the GNAC that are going to start [men's volleyball programs] this year as well," Keeling said.

He believes that there might be a seven-team league at the start of the season.

Although seven teams in the GNAC may seem like a lot, Keeling noted that there aren't enough men's teams in the country to make up a substantial championship bracket.

Will Dawkins, co-captain for the Lions basketball team, played volleyball for a year in high school and said, "Volleyball's

not the most physically demanding sport, but it does take skill and you must be dedicated and have a good work ethic to play."

Students have begun to get in touch with Keeling and Crosley regarding the team, thanks to a bulletin posted on the athletics department Web site, www.emerson.edu/athletics.

Rudy Morales, a freshman marketing communication major, is interested in the team.

"I've honestly never done volleyball,

but I would like to learn more about it," Morales said.

The Boston College High School graduate said that he ran track and rowed crew in high school, and is looking for something to get him back in shape.

High school experience is something that sophomore writing, literature and publishing major Evan Kaufman has, and he believes it will benefit the new Lions team.

The Reading, C.T. native graduated

from Joel Barlow High School with four years of men's volleyball under his belt and is optimistic about the acceptance of a similar team at Emerson.

"Anything that Emerson does that's diverse and different is great," Kaufman said. "Our school is breaking down barriers

left and right; let's have a curling team, let's go nuts!"