VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Wesleyan will add men’s volleyball as an NCAA sport beginning with spring 2024, the school has announced.

It will bring the number of sports sponsored by the school to 23. The school also sponsors a co-ed e-sports team.

Current Marlins women’s volleyball coach Karissa Cumberbatch will also coach the men’s team. Last season, the women’s team finished 20-8, and 11-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, and Cumberbatch has a 44-17 overall record, and a 21-3 record in ODAC competition.

“Virginia Wesleyan has a long and distinguished record of success in women’s volleyball and we have every confidence that this will translate into our new men’s program,” Marlins athletic director Andrea Hoover-Erbig said in a statement. “Our beautiful campus, outstanding facilities, strong academic programs, and terrific location make this addition a logical next step for athletics.”

In the past 10 years, Division III men’s volleyball programs have doubled, and Virginia Wesleyan will join Eastern Mennonite, Randolph-Macon and Roanoke as ODAC in offering men’s volleyball. The Marlins will compete independently in spring 2024.

Cumberbatch also has experience working with young men and women at the club volleyball level, and will begin recruiting for the 2023-2024 academic year right away.

“I am excited for the opportunity to start a men’s program and work to continue the success of Virginia Wesleyan volleyball and the overall athletics program,” Cumberbatch said. “I am passionate about this sport and look forward to helping to grow the men’s game at Division III. I thank President (Scott) Miller and coach Hoover-Erbig for their confidence and support.”