Pfeiffer and Conference Carolinas Making Waves on Men's Volleyball National Scene
November 30, 2010
HIGH POINT, NC - Conference Carolinas announces that men’s volleyball will be a full conference sport for the league beginning with the 2012 spring season. With the recent notice by member Barton College to add the sport, an immediate effect will occur for Conference Carolinas and for men’s volleyball on a national perspective. For the 2012 spring season, Conference Carolinas will have six members that will sponsor men’s volleyball which will change the sports current emerging sport status to rank as a full conference sport for the league. At that time Barton College, King College, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College, and Pfeiffer University would make up the men’s volleyball sponsoring teams.
Mount Olive Athletic Director Jeff Eisen has represented Conference Carolinas as a league men’s volleyball liaison and has been an integral cog in helping to grow the sport for the league. Eisen states, “Barton’s addition of men’s volleyball is great news for Conference Carolinas men’s volleyball. It not only will make men’s volleyball an official conference sport, but it will also put the conference in the picture for a berth in the NCAA championships. Conference Carolinas has seen great growth in men’s volleyball over the past few years and this development will further enhance the interest and quality of volleyball within the conference.”
Conference Carolinas will be a men’s volleyball pioneer as they will be the first league comprised only of NCAA DII members. The league will be just the second conference that is a full multi-sport NCAA conference and just the fourth conference on the men’s volleyball national scene in the DI/DII ranks. The other DI/DII men’s volleyball conferences are the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA), the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF).
“This is great news for Conference Carolinas and for men’s volleyball in general,” stated Pfeiffer Head Coach Ben Guiliano. “The addition of a sixth team adds legitimacy to our conference and allows us to apply for an NCAA automatic bid. At some point, a conference team may be playing Penn State or Stanford in the first round of the NCAA tournament. That is very, very exciting.”
From a national perspective, these changes will also continue to effect men’s volleyball in the near future. Currently, all teams no matter what division compete for one national tournament title. The current conferences (EIVA, MIVA, & the MPSF) each receive an automatic bid to the national final four with one at-large bid also available. According to NCAA Championships, a conference would be eligible for an automatic qualifier after playing two seasons with six teams at which time Conference Carolinas would apply for an automatic qualifier in April of 2013 that would be applicable for the spring 2014 season.
Many across the nation believe that with the continued growth of the sport, the NCAA could expand the field from a four team event to a six or eight team tournament in the future. Either way in 2014 Conference Carolinas will be a factor in each national championship tournament that has perennial national powers with the likes of UCLA, Penn State, and Southern California.