ANGOLA, Ind.—Trine University's men's volleyball team has been accepted as a member of the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League (MCVL).
"Having been accepted into the MCVL is another big step for the return of our men's volleyball program," said Trine Athletic Director Matt Land. "Being able to compete in a league such as the MCVL, it will allow our team to face excellent competition and help in all aspects associated with the advancement of the program. We look forward to when the team plays its first match along with competing against the other MCVL schools."
The Thunder men's volleyball team will compete in the conference beginning in the 2019 season. Men's volleyball will be making its return as a varsity sport at Trine after playing its final varsity game in 2002. It originally began as a club sport at Trine, then Tri-State, in 1990, and became a varsity sport in 1991. The Thunder won the MIVA/NAIA Championship in 1998.
The addition of the Thunder men's program will give the MCVL a membership of 10 programs and will replace Wittenberg University who will be leaving the conference at the conclusion of this season. Trine will be one of four schools in Indiana to offer varsity men's volleyball competition at the collegiate level. The Thunder will be the only NCAA Division III men's volleyball program in the state.
Last season there were men's volleyball programs at 82 NCAA Division III institutions. There are eight NCAA Division III affiliated conferences that include men's volleyball. Six schools competed as independents. Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association members Adrian and Olivet each field men's volleyball teams, though the MIAA does not include men's volleyball as a varsity sport.
Adrian and Olivet also currently competes in the MCVL along with member schools: Augustana (Ill.) College, Carthage (Wisc.) College, Fontbonne (Mo.) University, Greenville (Ill.) College, Loras (Iowa) College, Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) University, North Central (Ill.) College and Wittenberg (Ohio) University.
The MCVL was formed in the summer of 2014 and is the eighth NCAA men's volleyball conference in NCAA Division III.
The MCVL inaugural season began in January 2015 and was made up of schools: Benedictine, Carthage, Dominican (Ill.) University, Fontbonne, Lakeland (Wisc.) College, Loras, Milwaukee (Wisc.) School of Engineering (MSOE) and Mount St. Joseph.
The MCVL was formed after six institutions (Carthage, Dominican, Fontbonne, Lakeland, MSOE, and Mount St. Joseph) decided to split from the their previous conference affiliation, the Continental Volleyball Conference. Benedictine and Loras were added to the newly formed conference which is based in the Midwest. The MCVL currently features eight schools from five different states (Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin).