(Sioux City, Iowa) – The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) is excited to announce that Men’s Volleyball will begin as an official conference sport starting in 2020-21. In conjunction with the addition of Men’s Volleyball, Ottawa University from Ottawa, Kansas, will join the GPAC as an affiliate member in the sport of Men’s Volleyball.
Beginning in 2020-21 the GPAC will have six members with the sport of Men’s Volleyball:
Briar Cliff University – Sioux City, Iowa
Dordt University – Sioux Center, Iowa
Hastings College – Hastings, Nebraska (new program in 2020-21)
Morningside College – Sioux City, Iowa
University of Jamestown – Jamestown, North Dakota
Ottawa University – Ottawa, Kansas (affiliate member)
The GPAC and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) require six schools in a conference to have it as a sport and receive an automatic berth to the NAIA National Volleyball Championship under conference direct qualification. Currently GPAC schools and Ottawa are in an Unaffiliated Grouping for Men’s Volleyball.
“Today’s announcement speaks to the growth of NAIA Volleyball,” said GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra. “We have had Men’s Volleyball on the radar for some time in the GPAC and today is an exciting day for the conference to have this come to be. GPAC fans are going to really enjoy this sport and the fast-paced action it provides!”
The addition of Men’s Volleyball increases the number of Championship sports in the GPAC to 22. Men’s Volleyball is the first sport added in the GPAC since Cheer and Dance became an official conference sport in 2016-17. Prior to that Wrestling became an official conference sport in 2006-07.
About NAIA Volleyball:
Men’s Volleyball became an official NAIA Championship Sport in 2018-19, prior to that it was an Invitational Championship within the NAIA. The NAIA Men’s Volleyball Championship is currently held in Des Moines, Iowa, at Grand View University. 49 NAIA schools currently offer Men’s Volleyball in 2019-20. The Men’s Volleyball season in the NAIA runs from late January through mid-April. It is considered a spring sport in the NAIA and the GPAC.
About Ottawa University:
Ottawa University (OU) is a private Baptist liberal arts university located in Ottawa, Kansas, that has grown to have a second residential campus in Surprise, Arizona, and adult campuses in several locations throughout the United States. OU was founded in 1865 and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. Ottawa University (Braves) are a full-time member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC).