ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union has decided to add men's volleyball to the intercollegiate athletic program.
The team will start competition in the spring of 2019 and a search for a head coach will begin immediately.
"This addition advances our strategic plan," said Dr. Richard Merriman, president of Mount Union. "An emerging and exciting sport like men's volleyball is the perfect fit for our vibrant athletic program."
Mount Union, an NCAA Division III institution, is a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference but the Purple Raider men's volleyball team initially may compete as an independent as the OAC does not currently sponsor the sport.
The OAC along with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canton Visitors & Convention Bureau are the hosts for the 2022 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship at Johnson Controls Pro Football Hall of Fame Village.
The sport of men's volleyball has seen tremendous growth in recent years, especially at the high school level.
The Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association (OHSBVA) serves as the governing body and has seen the sport split into two divisions, with almost 90 high schools in the state sponsoring men's volleyball.
In nearby Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) sponsors a boys volleyball championship with nearly 200 high school teams offering the sport.
The addition of the team will bring the total number of athletic teams at Mount Union to 24. Mount Union currently sponsors intercollegiate athletic teams in men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, football, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving, wrestling, baseball, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse and men's and women's track and field.