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Dordt Men’s Volleyball makes move to Heart of America Athletic Conference

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – The Dordt University, and Morningside University men’s volleyball teams will be competing as a affiliate members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference beginning in the 2024-25 season. The move was announced after the Great Plains Athletic Conference revealed that it will no longer be sponsoring men’s volleyball.

Previous GPAC affiliates Ottawa and Kansas Wesleyan had previously announced moves to the HAAC, while Jamestown will spend a year in the North Star Athletic Association before joining the Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

“We are thrilled to welcome Morningside University and Dordt University to the Heart of America Athletic Conference as associate members for Men’s Volleyball,” expressed Commissioner Nik Rule. “Their addition not only enhances our competitive landscape but also supports our goal of creating a more dynamic and diverse conference.”

The HAAC’s 2024-25 men’s volleyball season will feature 14 teams playing in two divisions, with both Morningside and Dordt playing in the North Division alongside Clarke, Graceland, Grand View, Mount Mercy, and William Penn.

“With the new divisional structure, we can optimize travel, minimize out-of-class time for our student-athletes, and ensure a balanced and exciting competition schedule. This growth strengthens our position as a leading conference in men’s volleyball and provides greater opportunities for our teams to succeed on a national level,” added Commissioner Rule.

Dordt Men’s Volleyball To Compete In Heart Of America Athletic Conference

The Dordt University men’s volleyball program will have a different conference home beginning with the 2024-25 school year. Earlier today the Great Plains Athletic Conference announced it would not be sponsoring men’s volleyball for the coming year. Soon after that announcement the Heart of America Athletic Conference announced the addition of Morningside University and Dordt University, as associate members for Men’s Volleyball.

This expansion brings the total number of teams in the league to fourteen and includes teams from Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.

“We are thrilled to welcome Morningside University and Dordt University to the Heart of America Athletic Conference as associate members for Men’s Volleyball,” expressed Commissioner Nik Rule. “They are full-members of the GPAC, another great NAIA conference and we are happy to be a home for them in this sport. With the new divisional structure, we can optimize travel, minimize out-of-class time for our student-athletes, and ensure a balanced and exciting competition schedule. This growth strengthens our position as a leading conference in men’s volleyball and provides greater opportunities for our teams to succeed on a national level.”

To accommodate the expansion, the conference will now be divided into two divisions, with teams playing within their division twice and outside their division once, with both Morningside and Dordt playing in the North Division alongside Clarke, Graceland, Grand View, Mount Mercy, and William Penn.

“With the new divisional structure, we can optimize travel, minimize out-of-class time for our student-athletes, and ensure a balanced and exciting competition schedule. This growth strengthens our position as a leading conference in men’s volleyball and provides greater opportunities for our teams to succeed on a national level,” added Commissioner Rule.

North Division:

Clarke University

Dordt University

Graceland University

Grand View University

Morningside University

Mount Mercy University

William Penn University

South Division:

Culver-Stockton College

Kansas Wesleyan University

Missouri Baptist University

Missouri Valley College

Ottawa University (Kan.)

Park University

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy

“We are grateful the Heart of America Athletic Conference voted to add Dordt and Morningside as associate members in its league for the next men’s volleyball season,” said Dordt Director of Athletic Communication Mike Byker. “The HAAC is has an established competitive culture in men’s volleyball and we look forward to competing against these traditionally, strong programs. We thank HAAC Commissioner Nik Rule and GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra for their forward thinking and strengthening the leagues and the men’s volleyball programs through this decision. There were individuals on many of our campuses who helped make decisions to get us to this point for the 2024-25 school year.”

The expanded roster of teams and the new divisional structure will enable schools to offer a more robust schedule and enhance opportunities for securing automatic bids to the NAIA national championships, further cementing The Heart’s reputation as a premier athletic conference in the sport.

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