Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League

The Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League (MCVL) is an intercollegiate men's volleyball conference associated with the NCAA's Division III.

Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League
EstablishedMarch 13, 2014
DivisionDivision III
Members6 (7 in 2020)
Sports fielded
  • 1
HeadquartersCedar Rapids, Iowa
CommissionerChuck Yrigoyen (since 2016)


The MCVL was founded in March 2014 by an amicable split of the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC), which itself had only been created in 2011. The CVC's six Midwestern schools, which had previously formed a CVC division, wished to create a more geographically compact league. The two groups agreed that the CVC's eastern teams would retain the CVC name and branding.[1] Since the CVC retained six members, that group also retained its automatic berth in the Division III national championship.[2] It was also agreed that two Midwestern schools that were adding the sport for 2014–15 (2015 season) and had been announced as incoming CVC members, Benedictine University and Loras College, would instead join the new Midwestern league.[1] The next month, the new league was unveiled as the MCVL.[3]

In September 2014, two Illinois schools that were adding volleyball in the 2015–16 school year (2016 season), Greenville College and North Central College, were accepted as the league's 9th and 10th members.[4] Three months later, four additional schools—Adrian College, Marian University of Wisconsin, Olivet College, and Wittenberg University—were announced as new members for 2015–16.[5]

The MCVL was not eligible for an automatic berth in the Division III national championship in its first two seasons (2015 and 2016); during that time, its teams were eligible for at-large berths.[2]

In January 2017, the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC), the all-sports home of five MCVL members—charter members Benedictine, Dominican University of Illinois, Lakeland College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), plus 2015 arrival Marian—announced that it would begin sponsoring men's volleyball in the 2018 season. This followed previous announcements that NACC members Aurora University and Concordia University Wisconsin would launch varsity men's volleyball in that season, giving the NACC seven men's volleyball schools and an automatic berth in the Division III national championship.[6] As a result, the MCVL initially dropped to nine members for the 2018 season. Before that season, the MCVL returned to 10 members with the addition of Augustana College of Illinois, which was set to begin sponsoring varsity men's volleyball in the 2018 season. Augustana had intended to begin varsity play as an independent with a view toward eventually gaining MCVL membership,[7] but was immediately accepted into the league.[8]

After the 2018 season, the MCVL lost one member and gained another. Wittenberg left to become a single-sport affiliate in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference,[9] while Trine University resurrected a varsity program that last played in 2002 and joined the MCVL.[10]

The MCVL lost half of its 2019 membership when the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) added men's volleyball for the 2020 season. Augustana, Carthage, Greenville, Loras, and North Central, along with new programs at North Park and Millikin, will start CCIW conference play in 2020. Greenville and Loras were accepted into the CCIW as associate members. [11] This temporarily left the MCVL in danger of eventually losing its automatic bid to the NCAA championship, but the league restored its membership to the six needed to maintain its automatic bid by adding the University of Mount Union, which had spent its inaugural men's volleyball season of 2019 as an independent, for the 2020 season.[12]

Current members

The league was founded with eight members. Six joined for the 2016 season, five left after the 2017 season, and one joined for the 2018 season. The 2019 season saw the conference membership remain at 10, with one departing member replaced by a new school. After the 2019 season five teams left and Mount Union was added, dropping the league to six members for the 2020 season. The league will grow to seven members in 2021 when Wabash College begins its men's volleyball program. All current, former, and future conference members are private institutions.

The conference formed Eastern and Western Divisions for the 2017 season,[13] but reverted to a single-table format following the departure of the five NACC members.[8]

Note that because NCAA men's volleyball is a spring sport, the year of joining is the calendar year before the first year of competition.

Institution Location Nickname Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined Primary
Adrian College Adrian, Michigan Bulldogs 1859 United Methodist Church 1,654 2015 MIAA
Fontbonne University St. Louis, Missouri Griffins 1923 CatholicSisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 2,532 2014 SLIAC
Mount St. Joseph University Delhi Township, Ohio Lions 1920 CatholicSisters of Charity of Cincinnati 2,225 2014 HCAC
University of Mount Union Alliance, Ohio Purple Raiders 1846 Non-sectarian 2,309 2019 OAC
Olivet College Olivet, Michigan Comets 1844 United Church of Christ and National Association of Congregational Christian Churches 1,145 2015 MIAA
Trine University Angola, Indiana Thunder 1884 Non-sectarian 2,000 2018 MIAA

Future member

Institution Location Nickname Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joining Primary
Wabash College Crawfordsville, Indiana Little Giants 1884 Non-sectarian 882 2020[14] NCAC

Former members

Institution Location Nickname Affiliation Joined Left Current
volleyball conference
Augustana College Rock Island, Illinois Vikings Lutheran – ELCA 2017 2019 CCIW
Benedictine University Lisle, Illinois Eagles CatholicBenedictine 2014 2017 NACC
Carthage College Kenosha, Wisconsin Red Men Lutheran – ELCA 2014 2019 CCIW
Dominican University River Forest, Illinois Stars CatholicDominican 2014 2017 NACC
Greenville College Greenville, Illinois Panthers Free Methodist Church 2015 2019 CCIW
Lakeland College Sheboygan, Wisconsin Muskies United Church of Christ 2014 2017 NACC
Loras College Dubuque, Iowa Duhawks CatholicDiocesan 2014 2019 CCIW
Marian University Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Sabres CatholicCongregation of Sisters of Saint Agnes 2015 2017 NACC
Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Milwaukee, Wisconsin Raiders Nonsectarian 2014 2017 NACC
North Central College Naperville, Illinois Cardinals United Methodist Church 2018 2019 CCIW
Wittenberg University Springfield, Ohio Tigers Lutheran – ELCA 2015 2018 AMCC

Championship history

Season Regular season Tournament
2015 Carthage Carthage
2016 Carthage Carthage
2017 Dominican (East)
Carthage (West)
2018 North Central Carthage
2019 Carthage Fontbonne

Membership timeline

As noted previously, the year of joining is the calendar year before the first season of competition.


  1. "CVC Announces Split As Teams Continue To Join" (Press release). Eastern Mennonite Royals. March 13, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  2. "Greenville College to Add Men's Volleyball as 15th Intercollegiate Sport" (Press release). Greenville College Athletics. August 27, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  3. "Raiders' New Conference Has A Name" (Press release). MSOE Athletics. April 4, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  4. "North Central & Greenville Set to Join MCVL in 2016 Season" (Press release). Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. September 23, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  5. "MCVL Announces Expansion to 14 Teams for 2016 Season" (Press release). Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  6. "NACC To Add Men's Volleyball In 2018" (Press release). Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. January 10, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  7. "Men's Volleyball and Women's Bowling Join the Varsity Sports Lineup for 2017–18" (Press release). Augustana College Athletics. April 18, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  8. "Carthage Picked as MCVL Favorite" (Press release). Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017. Although the MCVL made no official announcement that Augustana would join, it included that school in its 2018 schedule.
  9. "Hiram, Thiel and Wittenberg to Join AMCC in Men's Volleyball" (Press release). Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. May 31, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  10. "Trine Men's Volleyball Team to Compete in MCVL" (Press release). Trine Thunder. October 4, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  11. https://cciw.org/news/2018/12/12/general-cciw-announces-the-addition-of-mens-volleyball-greenville-and-loras-added-as-associate-members.aspx
  12. "Men's Volleyball: Mount Union To Join MCVL" (Press release). Mount Union Purple Raiders. July 11, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  13. "MCVL Announces Divisions for 2017 Season" (Press release). Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. December 15, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  14. https://sports.wabash.edu/news/2019/6/27/wabash-to-join-mcvl-for-2020-21-volleyball-season.aspx
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