Urbana University to add NCAA Division II men’s volleyball program

Another NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program is arriving to Ohio.

Urbana University announced Thursday that it will add men’s volleyball beginning in the 2019 season.

“Men’s volleyball aligns perfectly within the framework of our athletics structure,” the school’s Executive Vice President Christopher Washington said in a statement. “This is exciting evidence that our academic and athletics programs are moving forward together by providing opportunities to students in areas of interest that are currently under-served.”

Urbana is a NCAA Division II college with an enrollment of 1,800 students and is located west central Ohio.

This will be the second NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program from Ohio. Ohio State, which is located about 50 miles from Urbana, Ohio, finished last season winning the NCAA championship and its third national title during the decade.

The Blue Knights will play their inaugural season as independent with no conference affiliation. However, the school announced its goal is to eventually join the MIVA.

MIVA teams have won five of the last seven NCAA championships, including both Ohio State and Loyola winning back-to-back national titles during the last four years.

Men’s volleyball is one of three new sports this summer that the Blue Knights have opted to sponsor. Urbana also added wrestling on Thursday along with acrobatics and tumbling in June.

“I’m excited to add wrestling and men’s volleyball for the opportunity it provides young men and women in the region to continue playing the sport that they love while getting their education close to home,” Urbana athletics director Larry Cox said. “We look forward to incorporating these two sports into our university community while remaining focused on our continued commitment to developing our student athletes to become well-rounded persons who are prepared for fulfilling careers, leadership and service to humanity.”

Urbana is the second college to add a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program this year. Daemen College, a NCAA Division II school in New York, announced it would add a men’s volleyball team for the start of the 2019 season.