CIAA adds volleyball championship to weekend games in Salem

ROANOKE, Va.- – A conference of historically black colleges will be in the Roanoke Valley this weekend for its annual football championship game. 

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championship is back in Salem for the third straight year. And there's an added bonus this year.

"We have an opportunity to have our volleyball championship on the same day as our football championship on Saturday," said CIAA Commissioner, Jacqie McWilliams. 

We were able to attend practice for the Fayetteville State women's volleyball team, which will be playing in a semifinal game. If Fayetteville State makes it through, it will play in the championship game Saturday on the same court inside the Salem Civic Center. All volleyball games are free to attend. McWilliams is excited to bring something new to the championship weekend.

"It's a great place for us to have great exposure for our 13 member institutions and to let this community know that our schools could be their first choice because you're the first of choice for our championship games right now," said McWilliams. 

And whether you went to a CIAA school or not, McWilliams says this is an opportunity to become part of their legacy. 

"It's about supporting your community and supporting the student athletes to come here and have these great championships."

Mayor Sherman Lea was a member of the committee that brought the first CIAA football game to the Roanoke Valley. 

"It's going to be a great weekend and to be a CIAA alumnus, I'm just excited and I can't wait for things to get started," said Lea. 

After 25 years, the Stagg Bowl cut ties with Salem last year. The CIAA will stay in the city known as Virginia's Championship City through 2020. The football championship left Durham in 2016. 

The football game starts at 1 p.m. The volleyball game will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday.