The boom of new NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams continues in 2023.
While this latest expansion isn’t as historic as the 10 new teams last season, there will still be two programs making their debuts during the upcoming season.
Check out the quick-hit breakdown for Merrimack and Missouri S&T before they start their inaugural seasons.
Men’s volleyball conference affiliation: NEC
School’s primary conference affiliation: NEC
NCAA Division: Division I
Location: North Andover, Massachusetts
Head coach: Ray Lewis (former Central State head coach and Bnedictine-Mesa head coach)
Five marquee matches on the schedule: at Penn State (Jan. 14); vs. Harvard (Jan. 17); vs. Central State (Jan. 29); at Saint Francis (Feb. 25); vs. NJIT (March 3)
Inaugural roster notes: Coach Ray Lewis took full advantage of the recruiting connections in Arizona that he developed as a coach at Benedictine-Mesa. Merrimack has five players from Arizona on its 2023 roster, including two NAIA transfers. The Warriors have players from nine states on its inaugural roster.
Preseason polls: Picked to finish in seventh place out of eight teams in the NEC Preseason Coaches Poll.
Conference note to know: The NEC is entering its inaugural season of sponsoring men’s volleyball.
Men’s volleyball conference affiliation: Independent
School’s primary conference affiliation: GLVC
NCAA Division: Division II
Location: Rolla, Missouri
Head coach: Andy Halaz (serving concurrently as the Missouri S&T women’s volleyball head coach)
Five marquee matches on the schedule: at Loyola (Jan. 9); at Lewis (Jan. 10); at Purdue Fort Wayne (Jan. 20); at Ohio State (Jan. 21); vs. Maryville (Feb. 1)
Inaugural roster notes: Missouri S&T did not have to go too far to field the majority of its inaugural roster. The Miners signed seven in-state recruits, including three players who earned All-State honors during their high school careers. The roster also features an All-State high school player from Illinois – one of five Illinois players on the roster.
Preseason poll: TBA
Conference note to know: Missouri S&T is the fifth GLVC school to start a men’s volleyball program, and Rockhurst will become the sixth GLVC men’s volleyball team in 2024.