Milwaukee, Wis. – On April 4, 2011 Gary Williams, Associate Athletic Director of Carthage College and the first commissioner of the conference, officially announced the forming of the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC), a nation-wide men’s volleyball conference with NCAA Division III Institutions focused on academic and athletic excellence.
The CVC original charter membership consisted of Carthage College (Kenosha, Wis.), Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.), Fontbonne University (St. Louis, Mo.) Juniata College (Huntingdon, Pa.), Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.), the College of Mount Saint Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio), Philadelphia Biblical University (Langhorne, Pa.) now Cairn University, Stevenson University (Stevenson, Md.), Thiel College (Greenville, Pa.) and the University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, Calif.).
In the summer of 2013 the CVC welcomed in three new members in Dominican University (River Forest, Ill.), Lakeland College (Sheboygan, Wis.) and Marymount University (Arlington, Va.) while UC-Santa Cruz dropped affiliation.
Division III formally adopted the NCAA men’s volleyball championship as the Association’s 89th championship at the 2011 Convention held this past January. The NCAA has sponsored a National Collegiate Volleyball Championship since 1970, which was open to any varsity collegiate program in all three divisions. With the recent exponential growth of the sport on the Division III level, the NCAA has added the Division III Championship. This adoption and the awarding of an automatic qualifier bid to the tournament, was the catalyst to the formation of the CVC.
Each team plays divisional opponents twice and the top teams from each division advance to the conference tournament. The CVC conference tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
“The conference’s focus is to create a league that will provide nationally recognized and competitive competition opportunities for our member institutions, while remaining fiscally sound and reducing missed class time, enhancing the overall student-athlete experience,” said Williams. “We are committed to providing a high quality volleyball experience from coast to coast, while maintaining the integrity of our student’s personal and academic lives and fulfilling the mission of an integrated student-athlete experience that is a staple of the Division III philosophy.”
Williams believes that the strength of the conference is its diversity of institutions and the ability to inspire future growth in men’s volleyball throughout the nation. “The CVC also affords schools geographically separate from the majority of Division III men’s volleyball schools to create a league that will encourage future expansion and growth of programs in the Midwest and West regions of the country, while at the same time, providing a stable conference structure for schools that were not included in conference realignments before and just following the NCAA vote.” Through our research of geographically diverse conferences such as the UAA and other single-sport models in Men’s and Women’s’ Lacrosse we created a structure that will meet our goals and provide a competitive yet sound playing schedule.”