Lander to add NCAA Division II men’s volleyball team starting in 2020

Make that one more NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team in the Southeast.

Lander University announced on Friday that it would add men’s volleyball as a varsity sport beginning in 2020.

“I am very excited to announce the creation of the men’s volleyball program here at Lander,” athletics director Brian Reese said in a statement. “Men’s volleyball is a growing sport and will provide a great opportunity for young men to continue playing a game they love while receiving an elite education here at Lander. This program will serve as an excellent addition to the culture of our athletics program.”

Lander is a public university located in Greenwood, South Carolina, and has about a 3,000 student enrollment. In addition, the school is a NCAA Division II member with men’s volleyball becoming its 17th varsity sport.

The Bearcats compete in the Peach Belt Conference, which does not sponsor men’s volleyball.

This is the fifth time in the last three years that a school has added a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program. The other Southeastern schools to add the sport during that time span are Lincoln Memorial and Queens.

Lander also will be the fifth school from South Carolina to have a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program.

Men’s volleyball is the fourth varsity sport that Lander has added this summer joining men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s wrestling.

Along with starting a men’s volleyball team, Lander announced Friday that it would begin a nationwide search for the program’s inaugural head coach. The university intends to conclude the search by July 15.