The men’s volleyball program at Cal Baptist has come to an abrupt end.
The Cal Baptist athletics department announced Monday that effective immediately it will discontinue the program that had won eight NAIA national championships before transition to NCAA Division II.
“Decisions to discontinue a program are never easy,” athletics director Micah Parker said in a statement. “As we look at the long-term future of our athletics department, however, we feel this decision is needed based on budgetary and competitive factors as CBU moves toward D-I status.”
The Lancers less than five years after a successful transition to NCAA Division II status are in the midst of becoming a NCAA Division I member. The school also recently announced it intends to join the Western Athletic Conference.
Cal Baptist men’s volleyball finished the 2016 season in last place in the MPSF. However, the team had three victories versus ranked schools in the AVCA national coaches poll and is ranked No. 3 in the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division II National Coaches Poll.
The Lancers since joining the MPSF in 2013 never qualified for the eight-team conference tournament. In its inaugural MPSF season, Cal Baptist ended the regular season in sixth place but was ineligible for the conference tournament because it was still in the process of completing its NCAA Division II transition.
Cal Baptist had 10 players from its roster that were returning for the 2018 season under coach Derek Schmitt.
Parker said all curent players under scholarship will maintain their scholarships. In addition, all players will be released and can opt to transfer to other men’s volleyball program for the 2018 season.
The Lancers on the same day it eliminated the men’s volleyball program announced it will add a women’s beach volleyball program. There is no set timetable for when the women’s beach volleyball team will begin competitive play.
This is the third Californian school in the last five years to disband its NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program.
Pacific ended its men’s volleyball program in 2014, while Holy Names in 2016 following a brief stint as a NCAA Division II team moved back to club status.
With the loss of Cal Baptist, the MPSF will have seven teams for the 2018 season — BYU, Concordia-Irvine, Grand Canyon, Stanford, Pepperdine UCLA and USC.