A new team will join the Conference Carolinas for the 2013 season.
Erskine College announced Monday that it will add men’s volleyball as an intercollegiate sport for the 2012-13 school year and the team will compete in the Division II conference for its inaugural season.
Erskine, a Christian liberal arts college located in South Carolina, was already a member of the Conference Carolinas. The school will have 14 teams playing in the conference for the 2011-12 school year.
“We have seen major growth in our athletics program over the last five years and we want to see that momentum continue its course,” Erskine athletics director Mark Peeler said in a statement. “Men’s volleyball has been an exciting emerging sport in Conference Carolinas so it seemed like a logical next step for us.”
The Conference Carolinas added men’s volleyball to the conference for the 2010 season.
Erskine will be the seventh men’s volleyball team in the conference and is the second Conference Carolinas school to create a men’s volleyball team in the last 12 months. Barton College announced last year it would add men’s volleyball for the upcoming season to give the conference six teams — the minimum amount of teams needed for a conference to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
As an emerging men’s volleyball conference, the Conference Carolinas will become eligible for a NCAA Tournament berth in 2014.
Erskine on Monday also named Derek Schmitt its men’s volleyball head coach for the 2013 season.
Schmitt was an assistant coach for the Clemson women’s volleyball team last season and spent six years as the head coach of the Southern Wesleyan women’s volleyball team from 2005-10. He will spend the 2011-12 school year recruiting players for the team’s inaugural season, while also serving an assistant coach on the Erskine women’s volleyball team.
Men’s volleyball is the fifth varsity sport that the Erskine athletics department has added in the last four years.