Fontbonne will be part of the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC), a nation-wide men’s volleyball conference, consisting of ten NCAA Division III Institutions focused on academic and athletic excellence.
Fontbonne University head coach Matt Bright said he's thrilled to have the opportunity to compete in the CVC.
"I think this is a great opportunity for our student-athletes, and I am excited about the experience our they'll get by competing against the best programs in the country," Bright said.
Gary Williams, associate athletic director of Carthage College, will serve as the conference’s first commissioner. The CVC will consist of Carthage College (Kenosha, Wis.), Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.), Fontbonne University (St. Louis, Mo.) Juniata (Huntingdon, Pa.), Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.), Mount Saint Joseph College (Cincinnati, Ohio), Philadelphia Biblical University (Langhorne, Pa.) Stevenson University (Stevenson, Md.), Thiel (Greenville, Pa.) and the University of California - Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, Calif.).
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. The conference brings together some of the best teams from across the country to qualify for the proposed nine-team NCAA Division III Championship.
The teams in the conference, although varied in location, create one of the nation’s best conferences. In 2011, five of the 10 teams have been ranked among the top 15 teams in Division III. The conference will begin competition in 2012, consisting of an east and west division. "We will compete in the west division with national powers #3 Carthage and #7 University of California-Santa Cruz," Bright said. Each team will play a double round-robin schedule within their division, and the top teams in each division advance to the conference tournament. The CVC conference tournament champion will receive an automatic bid into the first NCAA Division III Tournament to be held at Springfield College, April 27-29, 2012.
“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.”
Learn more about men's volleyball at Fontbonne.