North Centrals College's athletic department announced Tuesday that the school will add men's volleyball as its 23rd varsity sport.
Athletic director Jim Miller said the school will begin the multiyear process of building up and creating the new team.
The decision to add men's volleyball wasn't spontaneous, women's volleyball coach Karen Bunkenburg said. The school had been looking for a new varsity sport, and the interest was already there from the students. Bunkenburg said she had groups of students come up to her every year asking to help them start a team. Last year she and a group of students started the North Central men's volleyball club team.
Although the decision to start the team has been made, it will be some time before there is a Cardinals team on the court. The school hasn't set up a timeline for finding a coach. In the meantime Bunkenburg will remain the team club advisor. The women's coach said she hopes to be involved in the nation-wide search for a new coach and that a committee would gather to decide on a timeline.
For now the team will stay at the club level. Bunkenburg doesn't expect to see a varsity team play before the 2015-16 school year. While the sport is popular at the high school level, North Central will be one of only a few schools in the CCIW with a men's team.
All of North Central stands to gain from the new team, Bunkenburg said, because with a men's team new recruiting outlets will open up to bring in students.
Following a dominating win against North Park over the weekend, Benedictine football players have been named both the offensive and defensive player of the week in the NACC.
Jarrett Lecas and Michael McNulty accounted for 3 touchdowns in the Eagles 36-10 victory. Lecas, a freshman defensive back, intercepted two passes, returned one for a touchdown, and deflected another pass. He also tied for the team lead in tackles with 11.
McNulty ran for 169 yards and had 2 touchdowns of his own on his 35 rushes. This is the senior from Elmhurst's first year with the Eagles.
The Thunder women's soccer team picked up right where it left off last season. The team held on to its No. 1 ranking in the country this week and added another victory Tuesday to seal it.
After the 2012 season saw Wheaton reach the national semifinals led by a group of newcomers, the now veteran team is on top of the NSCAA Division III Coaches Poll for the second consecutive week. The Thunder then went on the road Tuesday afternoon and defeated Alma College 4-2 to improve to 6-0-0 on the season. Three women found the back of the net for Wheaton, one each for Sydney Sharkey and Ally Witt and two goals from Leah DeMoss.
Wheaton's biggest test of the early season will come Saturday when the Thunder travels to third-ranked Washington University in St. Louis. The two teams last faced off in the national quarterfinals last year, Wheaton won 3-1.