Four people hold a large check
From left, Wade Garard, CEO of First Point Volleyball, Northern Kentucky President Dr. Cady Short-Thompson, Northern Kentucky Athletic Director Christina Roybal and USA Volleyball President and CEO Jamie Davis.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 15, 2023) – USA Volleyball, in collaboration with the First Point Volleyball Foundation, will provide $150,000 to help support two new men’s NCAA D1 programs at Northern Kentucky University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The two universities will use the funds to establish men’s volleyball programs to begin in the 2025-26 season. NKU and UMES, an HBCU, will be the first NCAA DI public universities to add men’s volleyball in more than two decades.

“We are proud to again partner with the First Point Volleyball Foundation to support the growth of collegiate men’s volleyball,” said Jamie Davis, President and CEO of USA Volleyball. “The expansion of educational opportunities and learning experiences for boys through the sport of volleyball is a priority for USAV.”

In 2019, USA Volleyball and the First Point Volleyball Foundation, which was co-founded by U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach John Speraw, granted $1 million to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAC) and six HBCU’s to launch new collegiate men’s volleyball programs. That initiative has been hugely successful, with the NCAA announcing that their conference will now receive an automatic bid to the men’s tournament.

Volleyball is the fastest growing team sport in the United States for high school boys. Participation has increased 20 percent over the last six years and 34 percent over the last 10 years.

With 77,287 boys playing high school volleyball now, it is projected that 100,000 boys will be playing by 2028. Ten state high school federations have sanctioned boys volleyball in the last five years and others are expressing interest.

New men’s volleyball programs have been initiated at 100 universities in the last five years, mostly at the DII, DIII, and NAIA levels. NCAA men’s volleyball has grown 44 percent over the last six years and 79 percent over the last 10 years.