The University of Mount Union will be adding men’s volleyball starting in the 2019 season. Mount Union President Dr. Richard Merriman issued a statement saying, “This addition advances our strategic plan. An emerging and exciting sport like men’s volleyball is the perfect fit for our vibrant athletic program.” The program, which is located in Alliance, Ohio, will compete at the NCAA Division III level.
Mount Union to add men's volleyball; Raiders to start in 2019 https://t.co/LJf7L207R2 @AVCAVolleyball @NCAADIII #gomountgo pic.twitter.com/BjDTXgO3mh
— MountUnionRaiders (@purpleraiders) September 12, 2017
According to a recent study, boys volleyball is on the rise at the high school level in the United States. In fact, it has seen the second highest growth rate among boys high school sports since 2011. This move signals continued growth and opportunities the sport for males, especially at the Division III level. Although Division III schools do not offer scholarships, participation has risen by over 150% in the last 15 years. The news also comes on the heels of Daemen College and Urbana University announcing that they too will be fielding men’s volleyball teams starting in 2019.
How has sports participation changed in high schools over the past 5 years? Good news if you like lax or indoor track (Data @NFHS_Org). pic.twitter.com/u1cXmDYVSa
— NCAA Research (@NCAAResearch) August 9, 2017
No official word has been released yet on what conference Mount Union will join, but there is a chance that they will compete as an independent in their first season. Mount Union athletics is a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference, but the conference does not sponsor the sport men’s volleyball. Division III doesn’t provide athletic scholarships.
Springfield College is the defending Division III champion, having defeated SUNY New Paltz in April.