UMass Lowell Cuts Volleyball Program
LOWELL -- UMass Lowell is ending its volleyball program.
The school announced the decision Wednesday, saying it came as part of a broader strategic effort to strengthen and reinvest in athletic programs and following a recommendation from a cross-campus university committee charged with a review.
All student scholarships will continue to be honored and the athletic department has established a transition committee to ensure players have access to all the university and NCAA resources they need to make decisions about future plans.
“We know how difficult this news is for our volleyball team and coaches, their families and friends and the River Hawk community,” said Peter Casey, UMass Lowell director of athletics. “We hope these student-athletes will continue their education with us, but we know how important volleyball is to them. We will do everything we can to help them find the best fit.”
The move will impact 11 students and eliminate two full-time and one part-time coaching positions.
“I have so much respect for these student-athletes and coaches and I regret that we needed to make this decision,” Casey said. “There is no good moment to make this type of announcement, but I wanted to give our student-athletes as much time as possible to speak with each other, with their families and friends, and with other volleyball programs across the country.”
Casey said that the university will reinvest the funds saved into other athletics programs.
“In the end, we had to make a decision about where we should invest to fund our priorities and maximize our competitiveness in the America East and Hockey East conferences. After working collaboratively with a committee representing faculty, student affairs, finance, athletics and other areas of the university, it became clear this was a step we needed to take,” Casey said.
In the last four years, UMass Lowell’s volleyball team has compiled a 20-91 overall record and a 5-43 record in the America East conference. In the 2016-17 academic year, the team was one of five America East teams to win the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team All-Academic Award as the River Hawks registered a 3.43 team grade point average, the second highest of any women’s team over the two semesters.