Buffalo, NY-The upcoming 2014 men's volleyball season will be last one for D'Youville College as a member of the United Volleyball Conference. It was announced today that D'Youville has been accepted, along with three other schools, to play in the North Eastern Athletic Conference beginning 2015.
"We think this is the right move for our program," said D'Youville Director of Athletics Brian Cavanaugh. "We are now better aligned to compete with programs that have similar athletic philosophies and facilities. We thank the United Volleyball Conference for the opportunity to compete under their banner the last few seasons."
Also making the move to the NEAC are fellow United Volleyball Conference members Hilbert College and Medaille College. Penn State Altoona plays in the Allegheny Mountain Conference along with the three Buffalo area schools will also move to the NEAC.
With the addition of the four new members, the NEAC will start the 2015 season with nine members and the conference champion will be eligible for an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Men's Tournament starting in 2017.
The new members join the NEAC's five core members Cazenovia College, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, SUNYIT, and Wells College.
"Not much is really going to change in our overall schedule," said Spartan's Head Coach John Hutton. "We started developing scheduling relationships with the NEAC programs over the last couple of years. So now our non-conference matches will be against UVC teams, and our conference matches versus NEAC teams."
"We are very excited to add the men's volleyball programs of these four institutions to the NEAC," stated Conference Commissioner Candice Murray. "The additions will help increase competition across the league while also putting the conference one step closer toward gaining and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Tournament."
The D'Youville Athletic Department was a charter member of the NEAC when the conference was formed in 2003 until departing for the AMCC after the 2008-09 academic year. D'Youville captured NEAC men's volleyball championships in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
D'Youville, Medaille, Hilbert, Penn State Altoona, and Penn State Behrend (who stayed in the UVC) will continue to compete for an AMCC title. No automatic qualifier comes with that championship and there is no postseason tournament.
The Spartans start the 2014 season January 24-25 at the SUNYIT Invitational.