An expansion program will be joining the MIVA for the 2015 season.
The McKendree University athletics department announced Tuesday that it was awarded membership to the MIVA that will begin following the men’s volleyball team’s upcoming inaugural season.
McKendree, a NCAA Division II school located in Lebanon, Ill., is in the process of preparing for its first season in 2013 when it will compete as an independent team. In addition, athletics director Chuck Brueggemann said in a statement released Tuesday that he feels McKendree will be competitive when it joins the MIVA.
“The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association is a well-known and well-respected conference in the world of men’s volleyball,” Brueggemann said. “The teams of the MIVA play with a high level of energy and intensity, and we believe that our men’s volleyball program will fit in well with that style of play. McKendree is excited to be joining one of the premier conferences in the nation, and we are looking forward to competing against some of the top teams throughout the NCAA.”
The addition of McKendree comes months after the school expressed hesitation in joining the premier Midwest conference.
When the athletics department announced it would start a men’s volleyball program in December, the Bearcats initially said they would consider remaining an independent program following the 2013 season.
This will be the second team in the last three year that the MIVA has added to its conference. Lindenwood just finished its first season in the MIVA and will be eligible for the conference tournament beginning in 2014.
McKendree becomes the ninth member of the MIVA — the most NCAA Division I-II schools to be in the conference since its inception in 1961. In addition, McKendree is the fourth Illinois school to join the MIVA along with Loyola, Lewis and Quincy.
In preparation for its transition to the MIVA, McKendree also unveiled its 2014 schedule that features seven non-conference matches against MIVA schools. McKendree will play a home-and-home series against Lindenwood and Quincy, along with matches against Loyola, Lewis and Grand Canyon.