In case you haven’t heard, the RIT men’s volleyball team finished strong, ending their season as the No. 9 ranked Division II team in the nation, their best ranking in team history.
And yes, that’s right—RIT has a men’s volleyball team. A men’s ‘club’ volleyball team.
Because of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which mandates equality among sexes in all academic-related activities, many colleges and universities throughout the United States had to decrease the funding, or totally eliminate ‘minor’ sports that don’t draw significant revenue, such as golf, swimming and men’s volleyball.
In the wake of Title IX, the current NCAA sports sponsorship report indicates that there are just 84 school-sponsored NCAA men’s teams, while 990 women’s teams compete throughout NCAA Division I, II and III.
Even most of the nation’s traditional ‘top sports colleges,’ such as Notre Dame, Duke University, University of Texas, and University of Michigan don’t have NCAA men’s varsity teams, so club volleyball has become the dominant venue for men’s competition at the collegiate level.
Each year, the men’s club volleyball season culminates with the Collegiate Volleyball Sport Club Championships, where the top 48 teams in each division (Div. I, I-AA, II, III), from across the country, are invited to compete for a national title.
This year’s tournament, held April 12-14, in Louisville, KY, the Tigers defeated St. John’s University, New Jersey Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse and University of Chicago before they were defeated by University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the ‘sweet sixteen’ round.
Though we had hoped to advance further in the tournament, our team is poised to improve upon our ranking as the No. 9 team in the country and confident we have the squad to do so, as only two players will not be returning next season.
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