Eight months since the 2016 men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament finals featured everything from conference realign and coaching changes to a new national poll.
Check out the top news items from this college men’s volleyball off-season that you need to know about before the 2017 season begins in January.
Big West to add men’s volleyball starting in 2018
The Big West announced in May that it would become the nation’s first multi-sport Division I conference to sponsor college men’s volleyball beginning in the 2018 season. CSUN, Hawai’i Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara as full members of the Big West will leave the MPSF for the new volleyball conference. In addition, UC San Diego will depart the MPSF and join the Big West as an associate member for only men’s volleyball. To read more about this newly formed conference, click here.
Grand Canyon to leave MIVA for MPSF
Grand Canyon in a decision to join a conference with a closer geographic proximity opted to leave the MIVA and join the MPSF beginning in 2018. The Antelopes as the only NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team in Arizona will be one of two non-Californian team in the revamped MPSF. Grand Canyon in the program’s second year joined the MIVA in 2010, despite being located more than 1,000 miles away from the nearest school in the Midwest-based conference. To read more about Grand Canyon’s conference change, click here.
Concordia-Irvine to join new-look MPSF
Concordia-Irvine announced in June that it accepted an invitation to become a member of the MPSF starting in the 2018 college men’s volleyball season. Concordia-Irvine is entering the final year of its three-year transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II membership and played as an independent team without a conference last season. In addition, the program will be immediately eligible for the postseason as a full Division II member when it joins the MPSF. To read more about Concordia-Irvine joining the MPSF, click here.
Queens to start men’s volleyball program in 2018
Queens University of Charlotte announced in October that it will sponsor a NCAA Division II men’s volleyball team beginning in the 2018 season. Queens, a private university in North Carolina with an enrollment of 2,250 students, is a NCAA Division II school that competes in the South Atlantic Conference. To read more about Queens’ decision to add a men’s volleyball program, click here.
Charleston hires former Wake Forest coach Murczek
Charleston announced in July that it hired former Wake Forest women’s volleyball Ken Murczek. Murczek had two 20-win seasons as the head coach of North Texas and went 44-52 at Wake Forest. Charleston is entering the program’s third season and finished 2016, its inaugural season in the EIVA, in last place. To read more about this coaching hire, click here.
BYU, Long Beach, Ohio State, UCLA dominate Preseason All-American honors
The four NCAA Tournament semifinalists from last season — BYU, Long Beach State, Ohio State and UCLA — had a combined 14 players make the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Team that was announced in December. The annual Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams recognizes the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation during the upcoming season. To view the complete list of Preseason All-Americans, click here.
Defending champs Ohio State ranked No. 1 in preseason poll
Ohio State received all but one first-place vote to finish at atop the AVCA preseason national coaches poll that was released earlier this month. The Buckeyes ended last season on a nation-best 23-match winning streak and won their program’s second national title in the last six years. This is the first time in the history of AVCA national coaches poll that a team from the MIVA has earned the top preseason ranking. To view the complete preseason national coaches poll, click here.
U.S. sweeps Cuba to win U21 NORECA gold medal
Stanford outside attacker Jordan Ewert had a tournament-high 18 kills as the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team defeated Cuba 25-17, 29-27, 19-25, 25-22 in the NORCECA Continental Championship gold-medal match this summer in Canada. With this victory, the United States finished the international tournament undefeated and qualified for the upcoming 2017 FIVB World Championship. Long Beach State setter Josh Tuaniga, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, guided a U.S. offense that had all five other starters finish with at least five kills in the title match. To read more about the U.S. gold-medal performance, click here.
Ohio State’s Oman named new chairperson of NCAA selection committee
The NCAA announced in August that Ohio State associate athletics director Janine Oman was selected to head the NCA Division I-II men’s volleyball committee for the 2017 season. Oman, who has almost 30 years of experience in college athletics, joined the three-person men’s volleyball committee in fall of 2014 as the Midwest region representative. She also replaced former chairman and George Mason assistant athletics director Ron Shayka, whose four-year term on the committee ends this fall. To read more about the new committee chairperson, click here.
Top 5 Division II National Coaches Poll to debut in 2017
Off the Block announced in November that it will coordinate the inaugural Division II National Coaches Poll throughout the 2017 season. The new weekly national coaches poll will recognize the top-five Division II teams. In addition, the first rankings will be released in January after the opening week of the season and new rankings will be unveiled each Tuesday during the regular season. To read more about this new national poll, click here.
MPSF teams flocking to Ohio State in 2017
Ohio State will play a program-record five non-conference home matches against MPSF opponents in the upcoming season. Among the West Coast teams traveling to play Ohio State are UCLA, USC, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC San Diego. Ohio State also is the host site for the 2017 NCAA Tournament that will take place in May. To read more about the defending NCAA champion Buckeyes’ home non-conference schedule, click here.