MPSF debates changing conference schedule format with loss of Pacific

Conference coaches and officials are considering changing the MPSF schedule for future seasons following the elimination of the Pacific men’s volleyball team.

Stanford coach John Kosty at a recent MPSF league meeting proposed that the conference create a new three-year rotating schedule format for matches involving Stanford, BYU, UC San Diego and Cal Baptist.

The proposal would have the four teams during a three-year cycle play a two-match home series, a home-and-home series and a two-match road series against its conference opponents.


Kosty during his proposal said the change could be necessary as Stanford staring in 2015 will be on a scheduling “island” being the only MPSF team in Northern California. Stanford in previous seasons had worked closely with Pacific when creating the conference schedule to allow schools to play both Northern California teams during one weekend and limit travel costs.

Pacific announced earlier this week that it would drop its men’s volleyball program following the 2014 season in an effort to finance the university’s new strategic initiative and reduce the athletics department budget by 5 percent.

With the elimination of Pacific, seven of the 12 MPSF teams starting in 2015 will be located in Southern California. In addition, the changing geographical alignment of the conference places the five other schools — Stanford, Hawai’i, BYU, Cal Baptist and UC San Diego — all on what Kosty described as an “island” and not near another conference opponent for scheduling purposes.

The MPSF traditionally has teams each season play a home-and-home series against each other during conference play. However, the league allows teams schedule a two-year home-and-road series with Hawai’i to reduce travel costs and until the 2013 season had a similar scheduling format for BYU’s matches.

The three-year scheduling proposal caused mix reaction at the league meeting in late-September.

UC San Diego coach Kevin Ring questioned whether the new schedule format could create too much of a competitive imbalance for teams. In addition, USC coach Bill Ferguson said he was unsure if the three-year format would actually save teams money.

The MPSF also agreed to create a scheduling subcommittee to further examine the scheduling issue this fall.

The five-person committee, which will have Kosty serve as the chairman, is scheduled to submit a scheduling proposal for the 2015 season to the league office by Dec. 1.