Maryland Eastern Shore to start men’s volleyball program in 2026

Photo by Vinnie Lopes

Another historically black university will add a men’s volleyball program.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced Thursday that it will have a men’s volleyball team starting in 2026.

Maryland Eastern Shore will be the first NCAA Division I historically black college and university to field a men’s volleyball team. It also will be the eighth historically black college and university in recent years to add a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team.


“We’re trailblazers in many ways at UMES,” Maryland Eastern Shore President Heidi Anderson said in a statement. “This is yet another example of us carving a new path by adding men’s volleyball to our robust athletic program. With volleyball’s popularity on the rise everywhere it made sense to launch men’s volleyball. I think our community will join me in getting behind this dynamic sport, just as we have been strong supporters of our outstanding women’s team.”

Maryland Eastern Shore is a public university located in Princess Anne, Maryland, with an enrollment of about 2,500 students.

Men’s volleyball will be the 15th varsity sport at Maryland Eastern Shore. The school’s primary conference is the MEAC and has a second affiliation with the NEC.

The Hawks will compete in the NEC for men’s volleyball.

Maryland Eastern Shore received a $250,000 grant from the First Point Volleyball Foundation to start its men’s volleyball program. The grant will be paid over a three-year period to assist with start-up costs, provide facility improvements for both the men’s and women’s volleyball programs, and help fund scholarships.

The school announced Thursday it intends to provide the NCAA maximum 4.5 scholarships for men’s volleyball.