MILWAUKEE – The MSOE men's volleyball team is one of six members of the Continental Volleyball Conference that will leave the conference to form a midwest conference following the completion of the current season.
The Raiders will be joined in the new conference with fellow CVC West Division teams Carthage, Dominican, Fontbonne, Lakeland and Mount St. Joseph. The conference will also welcome new programs at Loras and Benedictine, both of which had been already accepted into the CVC for the 2015 season.
"This newly-formed conference will finally bring us into geographic proximity with our fellow members," MSOE athletic director Dan Harris said, "This move makes men's volleyball more economically feasible, while still maintaining regular competition with some of the nation's most powerful programs."
The CVC will carry on with the current members of the CVC East—Cairn, Eastern Mennonite, Juniata, Marymount, Stevenson and Thiel. The conference will then add Rutgers-Newark for 2015.
"This day is filled with mixed emotions," CVC Commissioner Gary Williams said. "We close a chapter on a very successful and competitive volleyball conference, one with a tremendous level of fierce competition and yet, one that represents the true embodiment of the spirit of the game with the utmost level of respect and collegiality among our member institutions. As this chapter closes, a new conference, one that will continue to represent the ideals that we fostered in the CVC, is formed. It has and always will be the our goal to not only be a leader in Division III Men's Volleyball on the court, but off the court as well, as we continue to encourage the growth of this great sport throughout the country. It is out of this spirit that new identities and brands need to be forged."
The current CVC administrative staff will lead both groups with their transitions and also begin the process of the branding and marketing of the new Midwest conference. The CVC was originally formed in 2011 and has been home to a total of 13 different Division III men's volleyball programs.
The new midwest conference will be the fourth for MSOE since the program formed in 2001. The Raiders played as a member of the MIVA 2005-07, before forming the Midwest-III Conference with Carthage and Fontbonne. The teams were joined by MSJ in 2010 and Thiel in 2011 before joining with more schools to create the CVC in 2012.
The new conference will have a two-year waiting period before the NCAA grants it an automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III Tournament. However, with the strength of the membership, the conference is expected to immediately qualify at least one team for an at-large bid in that time.