The NECC is one of the weaker conferences in the DIII landscape, normally ruled with an iron grip by Endicott, a former NECVA school with an established volleyball tradition. Over the last few seasons Elms has emerged to contest Endicott’s conference supremacy, and the two have since sat atop the conference largely unchallenged.
For this entry in the landscape series we will look at one of the newer volleyball conferences to join the DIII scene, the Mid Atlantic Conference (MAC). The MAC first sponsored Men’s Volleyball as a sport in 2018, and many of the current conference members likewise have young DIII programs.
The next piece in the landscape series highlights the second powerhouse conference in DIII men’s volleyball; the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC). Much like the UVC, the CVC has historically been one of the deeper and more competitive conferences in Division III. The two go back and forth every year attempting to claim the mantle of “Toughest Conference”, and CVC teams are no stranger from NVA/AVCA rankings.
Welcome to the 2021 Landscape Series, a collection of pieces where I (a DIII nerd) look at each conference and examine the teams I feel are worth watching going into the upcoming season.
There were maybe 40 plus DIII teams when I started playing in college (2008). Springfield and Juniata … these were the powerhouse schools. They played DI schedules while virtually guaranteeing recruits a bid to play for a DIII National Championship via the Molten Tournament. Of the 15 Molten Championships that occurred, Springfield and Juniata won 6 championships each. The Molten Tournament itself wasn’t perfect (host automatically getting a bid), but it gave DIII something that didn’t exist at the time.
As we approach the 2020 season, I took it upon myself to research the incoming classes for DIII schools. I was able to verify the names below via Athletic Releases, Middlehitter commitment announcements, Instagram releases, and through communication with coaches across the country.