Thursday, July 11, 2013

High Point, N.C. – Conference Carolinas has announced that next year's conference champions will host the first ever NCAA play in game. Could it be Penn State, maybe Princeton…how about Harvard coming south into Conference Carolinas territory?  If history repeats itself, next year Penn State would claim their 16th straight EIVA conference title then hit the road to play the Conference Carolinas tournament champion.

The NCAA recently confirmed that a Conference Carolinas team will host the first ever NCAA men’s volleyball play-in game this coming April.  By achieving a higher conference NCAA RPI rating than the EIVA conference, Conference Carolinas earns the right to host the first NCAA men’s volleyball play-in game. That means a perennial Division I powerhouse will have to travel to a Division II conference team to play for the automatic qualifier for the men’s volleyball final four championships.

For the 2014 season, an automatic qualifier will go to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) league and another automatic qualifier will go to the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) conference.  The third bid is an at-large bid, while the fourth automatic qualifier goes to the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) & the Conference Carolinas play-in winner.

The NCAA has stated that the men’s volleyball tournament will not be expanded to a true 8-team tournament at this time because the NCAA is in the middle of a budget cycle.

Conference Carolinas Associate Commissioner Brook Patterson stated, “We are extremely excited to help grow the sport of men’s volleyball and it has really taken-off in our league.  We’ll have eight teams this year while adding a ninth in 2015; which means all of our men’s schools will sponsor the sport.  For our league to have this opportunity… it’s a tremendous honor and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Conference Carolinas has been a men’s volleyball pioneer as they were the first conference 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. While men’s volleyball is new to the conference, the league has solid roots that date back to their formation in 1930.