Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor
There won’t be a new NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team in South Carolina for the start of next season.
The Lander University athletics department informed Off the Block that it has delayed the start of its men’s volleyball program.
The Bearcats announced last summer that they would begin a men’s volleyball program in 2020. While no new timetable has been publicly set to begin the program, the athletics department notified Off the Block the inaugural season will not be in the near future.
The school was slated to be first NCAA Division I-II public university in the state to launch a men’s volleyball program. ConfCarolinas members Limestone, Erskine and North Greenville all sponsor men’s volleyball.
This was not the best week for men’s volleyball in South Carolina.
Coker announced earlier this week it would be dropping its men’s volleyball program.
Despite the delay at Lander, there still will be three teams adding a men’s volleyball program for the 2020 season – Tusculum, Urbana and St. Francis-Brooklyn. The latter of the trio will be the first program from Division I to add a men’s volleyball program since Loyola did it in 1996. Current Division I member Grand Canyon was still in Division II when they launched their program in 2010. Nineteen Division II programs have added men’s volleyball programs since 1996, including Coker in 2013.
Below is a list of current and future NCAA Division I-II programs and when they first played a match.
|Institution||Year Program First Played a NCAA Match|
|Long Beach St.||1970|
|UC Santa Barbara||1971|
|Purdue Fort Wayne||1981|
|UC San Diego||1989|
*Ohio St. and UCLA list having played matches before 1970 – when the NCAA sponsored the sport. Ball St. has been a member of the MIVA since 1961 so they too played matches before 1970.
**Both Emmanuel and Concordia-Irvine started their programs in NAIA before moving over to the NCAA.