Sage Joins UVC In Men's Volleyball

Sage Joins UVC In Men's Volleyball

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- St. John Fisher College and The Sage Colleges will join the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) starting in 2018.
 
"We are honored to welcome St. John Fisher and The Sage Colleges into the United Volleyball Conference," said Commissioner Chuck Mitrano. "St. John Fisher has established a model for men's volleyball which will bring the team success and are a terrific fit academically. Sage has outstanding leadership and a competitive team that make a great fit for UVC."
 
Commissioner Mitrano continues, "The additions of The Sage Colleges and St. John Fisher provide two strong academic institutions and quality athletic participation to the United Volleyball Conference. These members provide quality competition while upholding our commitment to academic excellence."
 
The UVC, a conference that consists of nine NCAA Division III institutions, completed its sixth season as an officially sanctioned single-sport conference in 2016. The addition of St. John Fisher and Sage will bring the conference's membership to 11 teams, just one shy of the 12 institutions that donned the UVC banner during the 2014 season.
 
A total of six teams from the UVC ended the 2016 campaign with a national ranking of 13 or better according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The UVC also boasts the last two NCAA Division III National Champions in SUNY New Paltz (2016) and Stevens Institute of Technology (2015).
 
"The popularity of men's volleyball is growing at both the high school and collegiate level, providing an opportune time to add the sport to our roster," said Bob Ward, Athletics Director at St. John Fisher. "We believe that our location, academic offerings, and facilities will allow us to successfully recruit student-athletes to Fisher, and deliver the resources they need to be competitive on the court."
 
Men's volleyball is the newest athletic program added to St. John Fisher's offerings, bringing the college's total to 25 athletic programs. The Cardinals sponsor an already well-established women's volleyball program, one that has qualified for seven of the last 13 Empire 8 Conference tournaments.
 
"It will be an honor to be a member of the best men's volleyball conference in Division III," said Dani Drews, Director of Athletics and Recreation at the Sage Colleges. "We know it will be a challenge, but the Gators and Coach Verhayden are up to the task."
 
The Sage Colleges added men's volleyball as a varsity sport in 2010 and has been a member of the Skyline Conference since the program's inception. Sage has reached the Skyline Tournament Semifinals in five of the last seven seasons, including a runner-up finish in 2013. That same year, the Gators went on to win the ECAC Division III North Championship.
 
Since the 2010 season, Sage has amassed 98 wins in its history and produced 14 Skyline Conference All-Stars. The Gators are led by head coach Robert Verhayden, who enters his second year at the helm of the program after garnering Skyline Conference Coach of the Year honors a season ago.
 
The other nine members of the UVC are Bard College, Elmira College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nazareth College, New York University, Penn State Behrend College, Stevens Institute of Technology, SUNY New Paltz and Vassar College.

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