The EIVA will expand both its regular season and conference tournament format for the upcoming season.
The oldest college men’s volleyball conference on the East Coast announced during the weekend that teams will have a 20-match conference regular season and all six active teams will make the postseason.
This will be a six-match increase for each team during the EIVA regular season. To accommodate this expansion while maintaining the current travel levels, teams will play both a home and road two-match series against every conference opponent.
EIVA teams in previous seasons traditionally played a home-and-home series versus conference opponents during the regular season. The new format will feature teams playing each other four times in the regular season.
These schedule changes come as the EIVA and the rest of college men’s volleyball will attempt to play the 2021 season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which already resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 season. In addition, EIVA members Harvard and Princeton are currently slated to sit out the upcoming season because of the pandemic.
The EIVA regular season will begin Feb. 5 with teams playing their first two-match series. Teams will continue to play a two-match series for eight consecutive weekends.
Along with its EIVA weekend matches, the conference is permitting teams to compete in non-conference matches during January and during the weekdays the final three months of the regular season.
The EIVA season will conclude with a six-team conference tournament starting on April 16.
This will be the largest EIVA Tournament field since 2011. The conference starting in 2012 opted to reduce the size of the tournament field to four teams.
The top-two teams under the new format will earn byes to the conference semifinals. The other four teams will compete in the opening round — the No. 3 seed playing host to the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed playing host to the No. 5 seed.
Similar to previous seasons, the EIVA regular season champion will earn the right to play host to EIVA Tournament semifinals and finals.
The winner of the EIVA Tournament will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
2021 EIVA schedule
Friday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 7 matches
Charleston at George Mason
Sacred Heart at NJIT
Saint Francis at Penn State
Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb. 14 matches
Charleston at Saint Francis
George Mason at Sacred Heart
NJIT at Penn State
Friday, Feb. 19 through Sunday, Feb. 21 matches
NJIT at Charleston
Saint Francis at George Mason
Penn State at Sacred Heart
Friday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, Feb. 28 matches
Sacred Heart at Charleston
George Mason at Penn State
Saint Francis at NJIT
Friday, March 5 through Sunday, March 7 matches
Charleston at Penn State
NJIT at George Mason
Sacred Heart at Saint Francis
Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 14 matches
George Mason at Charleston
NJIT at Sacred Heart
Penn State at Saint Francis
Friday, March 19 through Sunday, March 21 matches
Saint Francis at Charleston
Sacred Heart at George Mason
Penn State at NJIT
Friday, March 26 through Sunday, March 28 matches
Charleston at NJIT
George Mason at Saint Francis
Sacred Heart at Penn State
Friday, April 2 through Sunday, April 4 matches
Charleston at Sacred Heart
Penn State at George Mason
NJIT at Saint Francis
Friday, April 9 through Sunday, April 11 matches
Penn State at Charleston
George Mason at NJIT
Saint Francis at Sacred Heart
Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18
EIVA Tournament opening round
Thursday, April 22
EIVA Tournament semifinals
Saturday, April 24
EIVA Tournament finals