ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The MIT men’s volleyball team will join the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) starting in 2014. The Engineers, who have been an independent team for the past two seasons, will begin conference play immediately with the UVC.
“We are very excited to welcome MIT into the United Volleyball Conference,” said Commissioner Chuck Mitrano. “As an exceptional academic institution and strong volleyball program, this addition enhances an already outstanding men’s volleyball conference.”
The UVC, a conference that consists of 11 NCAA Division III institutions, completed its third season as an officially sanctioned single-sport conference in 2013. The America Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) consistently ranked seven UVC teams throughout the season in top-15 poll and Nazareth College and Stevens Institute of College each competed in the NCAA tournament with the Golden Flyers finishing as the runner-up.
“MIT is honored to be accepted as a member of the United Volleyball Conference,” said Barb Bolich, assistant athletic director/senior woman administrator. “We are pleased to be associated with this collection of highly reputable and successful NCAA Division III men’s volleyball programs.”
MIT added men’s volleyball as a varsity sport in 1986 and joined the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, of which it was a member until 2003. The following season, Paul Dill took over the reins of the program as it began conference play in the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) New England Division. Under his direction, the Engineers made seven straight NECVA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the semifinals, were crowned New England Division champions twice, and collected 93 individual honors.
“We are extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to join arguably the premier Division III conference in the country,” said Dill. “We look to add even more strength and depth to the conference and believe that our inclusion will be mutually beneficial to all members.”
During Dill’s 10 seasons at the helm, MIT has compiled a ledger of 245-95, which features nine straight 20-win seasons. The Engineers have maintained a regular presence in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Men’s Coaches Top 15 Poll, as they own a current streak of 37 consecutive weeks in the rankings. In addition, MIT has received five AVCA All-America selections and three Capital One Academic All-America awards.
The other 11 members of the UVC are Bard College, D’Youville College, Elmira College, Hilbert College, Medaille College, Nazareth, New York University, Penn State Behrend College, Stevens, SUNY New Paltz and Vassar College.