Benedictine University to host inaugural Christian Staple Memorial Volleyball Match Feb. 11

The Benedictine University men's volleyball team will host the inaugural Christian Staple Memorial Volleyball Match when North Central College visits on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Christian Staple, head men's volleyball coach at Benedictine, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in July 2022.

The Benedictine University vs. North Central College match will become an annual event with the official name Christian Staple's Battle of Chicago & Maple. The match will rotate between the two schools, with the first match at Benedictine's Rice Center, at 3 p.m.

The Rice Center is located at the corner of College Road and Maple Avenue, a main thoroughfare through the Lisle/Naperville corridor. Admission is $8 cash at the door, no advance sales.

Doors open at 1 p.m., with the first serve at approximately 3:15 p.m.

"Coach Staple understood and exemplified the values of our community," said Charles Gregory, Benedictine University president. "He will be remembered fondly for his commitment to the university, the athletic department, and our student athletes. We lost a valued colleague, coach and friend."

Proceeds from the match will go to the Christian Staple Memorial Endowment for men's volleyball. In addition to admission revenue, the event will raise money via concession and memorial T-shirt sales, a raffle, and sales from Billy Bricks Pizza Truck located outside of the Arena.

Staple arrived at Benedictine University for the 2021 season. In his first season as head coach, he guided his team to the national championship match, was named NACC Coach of the Year, and saw two of his players earn All-American status. In two seasons as head coach, he finished 31-13 with a 21-2 mark in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.

Prior to his time at Benedictine, Coach Staple served as an assistant for both men's and women's programs at McKendree University. Originally from the Chicago area, Staple served as a high-performance coach for USA Volleyball and also coached at the NCAA Division III level at North Central College.

Benedictine and North Central are located just minutes apart and play regularly in what had been called the Battle of Chicago-Maple Avenue.

A traveling trophy will be awarded to the winner. Pregame activities will include a ceremony featuring alumni from both programs, a video tribute to Staple, a prayer and moment of silence.

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