Men’s volleyball takes flight in the Triangle


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The Men’s teams of Apex Friendship and Green Level pose together after their scrimmage.

Y-Nhu Do, Student Life Editor

Volleyball has traditionally been a female-dominated sport, but men’s volleyball is gaining traction in North Carolina.

The Triangle’s new men’s volleyball league is largely sponsored by Empowr Beach Volleyball Club (Empowr), an all-boys volleyball club. There are currently nine teams in the area, all competing for a chance to advance to North Carolina’s first ever men’s high school state championship in May.

Currently, the league includes teams from Empowr, Triangle Math and Science Academy, Green Level, Apex Friendship, Riverside, Eno River, Cary Academy, and Hillside. The league also has a homeschool team. 

Brian Coniker, a co-founder of Empowr, described how the league functions. “Each team is run differently. Some are school affiliated and run by the school,” he said. “Others are student-run and organized by a student leader with permission from the school,” he said. “And other teams are club teams organized by me and made up of players from certain schools.”

Creating this league was no easy task. “The process was a long one,” Coniker said.

“Starting in April of 2022, we began working with Sarah Conklin, another strong advocate of establishing boys volleyball in NC. We had to plan, network, and budget for several months in order to create this league.”

Green Hope doesn’t currently have a men’s volleyball team, but volleyball player Evan Cao (‘23) believes that interest is high. “Empowr is making a lot of clubs at different schools and you see a bunch of people participating in those. I have friends at other schools who said their whole basketball team would want a volleyball team,” he said.

As for the high school league, Cao believes it has potential. “It’s a good start. I know that men’s volleyball isn’t the most popular sport yet, so there’s no point in the school funding it right now,” he said. “It’s growing in the Triangle area, though, so as it gets more popular I’m sure the schools will sanction it.”

So far, the homeschool team and Triangle Math and Science Academy lead the league with 3-0 records. Green Level and Riverside trail behind with 2-0 and 3-1 records respectively. As the league continues to grow, groups like Empowr look forward to watching the sport grow and potentially become an official high school sport.