The MIVA is expanding its footprint to the Southeast.
MIVA Commissioner Tim O’Brien announced Monday that the conference voted to add the North Carolina school Queens beginning in the 2024 season.
“The university’s commitment to men’s volleyball through their facilities, administration, coaching staff and recruiting makes it clear they intend to keep their men’s volleyball team competitive and look to immediately compete for championships,” O’Brien said in a statement. “They will be an incredibly valued member that will help strengthen and stabilize our conference as the collegiate landscape continues to shift and the sport of men’s volleyball continues to grow.”
Queens has competed as an independent since starting its program in 2018. The Royals finished the last two seasons with a combined record of 34-24 and have reached back-to-back IVA Tournament semifinals.
Queens is located in Charlotte and has an enrollment of 2,500 students. The university is in the process of transitioning from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I and will compete in the Atlantic Sun for most sports starting in the 2022-23 school year.
“Since we began the program in 2018, we have been pointing to this moment of affiliating with a major men’s volleyball conference,” Queens coach Jermey Price said in a statement. “As a coach, I always want to associate with and compete against the very best. Joining the MIVA will allow us to do that every time we step on the court in a conference that has produced five of the past 12 national champions. On a personal note, I would like to thank and honor our ‘first generation’ of players that set the standard that allowed us to get to the MIVA. As we honor those athletes, I am extremely excited for the future of Queens University of Charlotte men’s volleyball and the MIVA.”
The MIVA with Queens will increase to nine teams starting in 2024. In addition, the MIVA will now have six NCAA Division I programs.
Multiple schools had recently reached out to MIVA about possibly joining the conference. Queens, though, was the only school to formally apply to join the conference.
This is the second time in its conference’s history that it has expanded beyond its traditional Midwest geographical footprint. The MIVA in 2010 expanded to the Southwest with the addition of Grand Canyon, which remained in the conference until departing to join the MIVA in 2017.
Price was the Grand Canyon head coach for five seasons and in 2012 won the MIVA Coach of the Year as the Antelopes finished in fourth place in the conference.