Fort Valley State University (FVSU) will begin its first-ever season of Men’s Volleyball on Saturday, January 15. The inaugural FVSU team will take on the King University Tornado at the Student Center Complex in Bristol, TN at 4 pm ET.
FVSU is one of six historically black colleges in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) to add Men’s Volleyball to its sports curriculum. The history-making addition to the university’s athletic department is part of a national strategic initiative created by the First Point Volleyball Foundation to increase diversity within the collegiate sport. A total of $1 million has been invested in the initiative. First Point invested $600,000 while the remaining $400,000 came from USA Volleyball.
“I would like to commend Coach Jon Speraw, USA Volleyball, UCLA, and Wade Gerard of First Point Volleyball for their vision and willingness to advocate for diversity and inclusion in this sport,” said FVSU Athletic Director Dr. Anthony Holloman. “I am excited that Fort Valley State University will have the opportunity to build a championship level program and challenge its student athletes against the best competition.”
This inaugural season has been in the making for two years as the university first announced the establishment of the men’s team in 2019 when FVSU received a $150,000 donation from First Point Volleyball and USA Volleyball to support the launch of the new team.
“It’s an awesome experience because we’re making history. We get to set the tone and inspire the next generation to want to get involved in men’s volleyball,” said FVSU Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Larry Wrather. “We get to show young men that they can get involved in other sports beyond football, basketball, or track. Having the opportunity to change a generational mindset is amazing and this is what we’re trying to do.”
The 2022 Men’s Volleyball Team will field 11 freshman and one sophomore. View team roster and coaching staff HERE.
Men’s volleyball is experiencing rapid growth in the United States, with new programs at over 80 universities in the past seven years. It is also the fastest growing sport in the world. Other HBCUs launching a men’s volleyball team in 2022 as part of the First Point initiative include: Kentucky State University, Central State University, Morehouse College, Paine College, and Benedict College.
The inaugural FVSU Men’s Volleyball team was scheduled to take on the Reinhardt University Eagles during its first match-up at the Brown Athletic Center in Waleska, GA on January 12 but the game was canceled due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Fans can watch the FVSU match-up against the King University Tornado via live-stream online Saturday at https://conferencecarolinasdn.com/king/. Spectators are welcomed in-person. Masks are encouraged.
Visit here for the complete season schedule.
About Fort Valley State University
Founded in 1895, Fort Valley State University, a University System of Georgia institution, is one of the nation’s most innovative and affordable academic institutions. Leveraging its unique role as Georgia’s only 1890 land-grant institution, the college conducts more science, technology, engineering, and math federal research than any other public teaching college in the state, making curriculum-enhancing research opportunities available to students learning to be leaders in innovation. The university’s undergraduate and graduate traditional and online degree programs enroll almost 3,000 students from all over the world. The university was recently named the most affordable online school in the nation for student economic mobility by SR Education Group and the #1 public HBCU in Georgia by US News and World Report. FVSU students participate in more than 80 academic and civic organizations, honor societies and study abroad programs. The university is a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA Division II League. Learn more by visiting www.fvsu.edu.
About First Point Volleyball Foundation
Founded in 2016 by John Speraw, head coach of the USA Men’s National Team and UCLA Men’s Volleyball, First Point Volleyball Foundation exists to provide opportunities for young people to mature and develop through volleyball. Specifically focused on growing boys’ and men’s volleyball in the United States, First Point Volleyball Foundation initiates and celebrates FIRST POINTS ¾ whether that is a first point scored on a new NCAA team, new high school team, or during competitive volleyball played by a 12-year-old. First Point Volleyball has raised $3 million in less than three years and has helped start 16 new collegiate men’s volleyball programs. The Foundation has three strategic initiatives: (1) growing collegiate opportunities; (2) growing high school boys’ opportunities; and (3) extending our Reach Diversity Initiative – expanding volleyball opportunities to boys and men of color. For more information, visit www.firstpointvolleyball.com.
About USA Volleyball
Founded in 1928, USA Volleyball is a non-profit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as the national governing body for the volleyball disciplines of beach, indoor, sitting, snow, and beach ParaVolley in the United States. With more than 370,000 registered members, USA Volleyball conducts national championship events, coaching, and referee certification programs, and coordinates grassroots development across all disciplines in a lifetime sport in which all can participate. USA Volleyball’s teams have won an Olympic medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, four Paralympic medals since 2004, and numerous World Cup, World Championship, and Continental Championship titles. For more information on USA Volleyball, visit www.usavolleyball.org. #PathtothePodium
FVSU Media Contacts:
Raynard Churchwell, FVSU Marketing Communications Specialist
Christopher Myers, FVSU Sports Information Director