Hiram to add Men's Volleyball as varsity sport

Hiram to add Men's Volleyball as varsity sport

HIRAM, Ohio -- Hiram College has a rich tradition of athletics, highlighted in recent years by the successes of its women's volleyball program. A new and complementary varsity sport, men's volleyball, will be added in 2017 to become the College's 15th varsity sport.

The men's volleyball program will begin as a club sport in 2016-17, battling teams from all around the region. The team will see its first year of varsity play in 2017-18. Men's volleyball is gaining in popularity. In the 2015-16 school year, 75 total colleges and universities sponsored men's volleyball as a varsity sport at the Division III level. The season begins in mid-January, with the tournament and national champion being crowned in April. Hiram will become just the third program in Division III men's volleyball in the state of Ohio and the fourth overall men's volleyball team in the state. Mount Saint Joseph and Wittenberg both compete at the Division III level and Ohio State plays at the Division I level.

"The addition of men's volleyball is part of a larger vision for the future in the Department of Athletics at Hiram College," said Director of Athletics Ellen Dempsey. "We are committed to providing as many opportunities to our students."

Dempsey is no stranger to the volleyball program at Hiram. Before taking on the role of director of athletics, she served as the head coach of the women's volleyball program for 11 seasons. Dempsey is the program's all-time winningest coach, having amassed a 267-113 (.703) record. In addition, she led the Terriers to four appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament, most recently in 2011.

Dempsey is hoping for similar success for the new men's program at Hiram and has turned to Head Women's Volleyball Coach Aline Scott for assistance. A national search for the first head coach in program history will commence in the near future. Scott will assist in the startup of the program and play a vital role on the selection committee.

The sport of men's volleyball has seen tremendous growth in recent years, especially at the high school level. The Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association (OHSBVA) serves as the governing body and has seen the sport split into two division, with over 80 high schools around the state sponsoring men's volleyball.

"Men's volleyball in Ohio has exploded in the past few years due to the commitment of the OHSBVA," added Dempsey. "With the addition of this sport, Hiram College will provide a new avenue for young men to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level."

The Terrier women's volleyball program has attracted top notch student-athletes in recent years and has also drawn in many local fans. Hiram hopes the strong following from the women's program will carry over into the newly established men's program.

Men's volleyball will become the newest varsity sport at Hiram since the college introduced both men's and women's lacrosse in 2012. Hiram will now sponsor 15 sports, which includes basketball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, and volleyball on the women's side and baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, and the newest addition of volleyball on the men's side.

"Adding men's volleyball will provide Hiram with an offering that many other colleges do not have," said Dempsey. "The team will also be a good complement to our successful women's program, allowing for joint conditioning, scrimmages and sharing of current facilities. I look forward to seeing the growth of this program as we extend our strong academics to a new group of young men."

For more information on Hiram College men's volleyball, please contact Director of Athletics Ellen Dempsey at 330.569.5340 or at DempseyEE@hiram.edu, or Head Women's Volleyball Coach Aline Scott at 330.569.5350 or at ScottAM@hiram.edu.