NAPERVILLE, Ill. – The Greenville University men's volleyball program will begin play in 2020 as an associate member of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. The CCIW will add men's volleyball beginning with the 2019-20 academic year.
The CCIW will also add Loras College, located in Dubuque, Iowa.
Both institutions currently compete in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League (MCVL) and will join the CCIW in time for the start of the 2020 season.
The CCIW Council of Presidents voted unanimously to approve the addition of men's volleyball, as well as Greenville's and Loras' applications for associate membership.
This announcement marks the second time in five years that the CCIW will add to its sports sponsorship list as the conference began competing in men's and women's lacrosse in the spring of 2015. Before that, men's and women's indoor track & field was added in 2001. This brings the CCIW's total number of sponsored sports to 24.
"With the growth of men's volleyball, especially among CCIW institutions, this is the perfect time for our programs to compete together as part of the conference," CCIW Commissioner Chris Martin said. "This decision shows that our administrators place a high emphasis on providing our student-athletes with the best possible intercollegiate experience.
"We also welcome Greenville and Loras as associate members," Martin continued. "Both are well-established programs that are a good fit from a geographical standpoint."
Five CCIW institutions will compete in men's volleyball by the winter of 2020 including Augustana, Carthage, Millikin, North Central and North Park. Millikin's first season will begin in 2020, while North Park starts competition on January 18, 2019 at Concordia (Wis.). Augustana began competing last winter, while North Central started in 2016 and Carthage in 2005.
Greenville will compete in its fourth season as a program beginning this winter, while Loras will start its fifth season in 2019.
With the addition of Greenville and Loras as associate members, the CCIW will have the required seven institutions to begin a two-year waiting period for an automatic qualifier (AQ), or "Pool A" bid, to the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship. Under the current calendar, the CCIW will receive its AQ in the spring of 2022.
Moving forward, the athletics directors and conference administrators will work towards the creation and structure of a conference schedule as well as post season opportunities.
The CCIW was founded in 1946 and currently services nine member institutions including Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), Carroll University (Waukesha, WI), Carthage College (Kenosha, WI), Elmhurst College (Elmhurst, IL), Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL), Millikin University (Decatur, IL), North Central College (Naperville, IL), North Park University (Chicago, IL) and Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL). During the 2017-18 academic year, the CCIW honored over 2,100 academic allconference recipients, 15 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, 28 CoSIDA Academic All-District recipients, and over 100 all-Americans.