Nov. 1, 2012
CHICAGO - For the first time ever, the NCAA Men's Volleyball Final Four will be held in Chicago when Loyola University Chicago is the host of the event, May 1 and 3, 2014, according to an announcement by the NCAA this morning. This is the first time Loyola has hosted a NCAA Championship in any sport.
"We are delighted the NCAA recognized Loyola's state-of-the-art arena and enhanced commitment to athletics in awarding us the 2014 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship," Loyola Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. M. Grace Calhoun said. "In addition to the elevation of our programs in the Horizon League and the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) standings, we look to re-establish Loyola as a prominent player on the national stage, and hosting this event only helps raise our profile. I want to thank Carolyn O'Connell, Senior Associate Athletics Director, for all her hard work in preparing Loyola's winning bid."
National semifinal games will be played on Thursday, May 1, with the championship match scheduled for Saturday, May 3. All matches will be played in Gentile Arena on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus. During the summer of 2011, Gentile Arena was completely renovated and the building now features nearly 1,800 chairback seats, in the 4,486-seat facility, a concourse, new locker rooms and concession stands and videoboards for one of the finest facilities in the Midwest.
"Chicago is a world-class city and one in which its residents love sports," Loyola head men's volleyball coach Shane Davis said. "Gentile Arena is one of the premier facilities of its size in the nation and we look forward to showcasing what we have to offer and to putting on a first-class NCAA Championship. In addition to our students, the Rogers Park/Edgewater community has embraced and supported our program for years and I expect them to help create an unbelievable atmosphere for the 2014 NCAA Championship."
This will mark the first time that Chicago, one of the country's hotbeds for volleyball, will host the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship and the event is sure to produce a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and energy. Ohio State was the last Midwestern school to host the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship in 2007. Eleven times in NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship history has the host school captured the national title, with Stanford last accomplishing the feat in 2010.
Loyola's men's volleyball program has been one of the most successful programs in the MIVA for nearly two decades. Since the program was founded in 1996, the Ramblers have posted eight 20-win seasons and thrice (2002, 2005 and 2006) have claimed at least a share of the MIVA regular-season title.