More growth for men’s volleyball is on the way. Just four months after Daemen College announced the addition of men’s volleyball, two NAIA schools have announced they have also received grant money from the MotorMVB Foundation to start programs of their own. Life University and Cumberland University have each received a $20,000 grant for men’s volleyball spread out over two years that will bring the number of NAIA schools that offer men’s volleyball to 38 total schools.
Life University is a private school located in Marietta, GA and has an enrollment of around 2,700. Men’s volleyball will become the 7th men’s sport sponsored by the school. “We are excited to be adding men’s volleyball to our growing number of varsity sport offerings,” Life University Athletic Director Jayme Pendergast said. “Volleyball is now the #1 sport in America for females, and is currently the second fastest growing youth sport for boys. It is also growing rapidly at the NAIA level. MotorMVB has been a great partner in making this a reality, and I want to thank them for not only supporting Life University, but the growth of men’s volleyball nationally.”
Wade Garard, the CEO of the MotorMVB Foundation, issued a statement saying, “Our foundation board chairman (U.S. National Team Coach) John Speraw always says there is nothing more important than providing opportunities for the young people of this country. We are pleased to be able to help do this for young men in Georgia and from around the country who will come to Life U and enjoy a meaningful student-athlete experience,” Garard said.
Cumberland University is a private school located in Lebanon, TN, and has an enrollment of over 2,300 students. Men’s volleyball will become the 10th men’s sport that the school offers. “We are thrilled to provide support to Cumberland as they add men’s volleyball. We have been very impressed with the growth of Cumberland athletics and in the University’s enrollment, especially over the last two years,” said Garard. “Director of Athletics Ron Pavan has done a tremendous job with first-class facilities and hiring top-notch coaches. Coach [Kathy] Slaughter is a great leader for the position of Director of Volleyball. We expect she will find a talented and dedicated coach to lead the men’s team.”
Although scholarship opportunities at the Division I and II level are still lacking compared to other sports, the number of student-athletes in men’s collegiate volleyball is continuing to grow, especially at the Division III and NAIA level. “It is exciting to see the growth of collegiate men’s volleyball at the NAIA level,” said Speraw, “With the addition of Life University and Cumberland University as the 37th and 38th NAIA schools to add, it appears we will surpass 40 schools soon and have the opportunity for men’s volleyball to become a NAIA Championship sport.”