Kate Corcoran, Cabrini’s director of athletics and recreation, announced the addition of a 20th sport for the 2023-24 academic year: men’s varsity volleyball. The school is currently searching for a candidate to fill the head coaching position.
Cabrini’s current women’s volleyball team has 18 players on its roster. Their current overall record is 19-11, with a perfect 6-0 record in the conference, and a current home record of 10-1.
An easy decision
Orlin Jespersen, Cabrini’s senior associate director of athletics for operations and external affairs, said, “For a few years now we’ve looked at some different programs that could be added.”
Other universities in the Atlantic East Conference offer men’s volleyball. Since other schools offer the sport, Cabrini felt adding it would be ideal.
“We want to be strategic about any sports that we add. We look at a lot of different factors when we consider a sport in terms of what kind of resources are going to be needed. I think over the past several years, those things pointed to adding men’s volleyball,” Jespersen said.
Factors that played into adding a men’s volleyball team were “high school programs in the area that kind of feed into it, we’ve got an existing facility and equipment. So, it wasn’t going to take a lot to add it,” Jespersen said. “We don’t have to build a stadium or anything significant, so it made it a little bit easier to add a program.”
Regarding the search for a coach, Laura Patton, Cabrini’s associate director of athletics, said, “You want somebody that’s going to come in, they’re going to be ambitious, they’re going to be heavily recruiting over the first year to make sure that we’re getting students who are the right fit for Cabrini, and Cabrini athletics.”
The head coach of the men’s volleyball team will have an important job in finding student athletes who want to be part of the new sport.
Now is the time
“It’s [also about] enrollment. We want to continue to bring students to Cabrini and to this campus. It kind of draws us from a different pool of athletes than we’ve had. Financially, facility wise, support staff wise, we are at a point where we can handle and take this on. It’s time,” Patton said.
Patton has a few goals in mind for the men’s volleyball team.
“First, to get students here and involved. After that, you want to win, obviously, but it’s about building that team culture, getting the name out there of Cabrini’s men’s volleyball, and then drawing more prospective students in in the future,” Patton said. Building a good culture can help bring in student athletes.
The AEC also motivated Cabrini to add men’s volleyball. “It’s been really pushed by our conference for schools to add men’s volleyball. We’ve been talking about it for years now, and the timing is right,” Patton said.
Patton believes adding a men’s volleyball team at Cabrini is important because, “It’s more activity on campus, more students coming to Cabrini, it’s a new sport that’s intriguing to students to come here for. So, it kind of widens our net for prospective student athletes.”