POPLARVILLE — Pearl River Community College announced Tuesday it will aggressively move to be the first MACJC member to add volleyball to its athletic resume.
The decision to add volleyball was approved during Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting. The program will make its debut during the 2019-20 academic school year.
"The volleyball talent is vast in our area and we're excited about the opportunity to provide these student athletes an additional opportunity to showcase their talents at the collegiate level," PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. "We appreciate the support of the Board of Trustees to accept the recommendation."
The historic move was prompted by the observation that South Mississippi has a largely untapped talent pool when it comes to sending high school volleyball players to the collegiate level. Now Mississippi prep standouts will be afforded the opportunity to stay close to home while competing in the sport they love.
"Anytime we can add an avenue for our student athletes to compete and give them a chance to move forward with their education we have an obligation to those students to follow through." PRCC Athletic Director Jeff Long said. "We feel like with the interest in volleyball in our local district adding the sport will be a tremendous asset to our community."
According to the NJCAA, as of the 2016-17 school year, 3,989 athletes on 310 teams competed in volleyball at the community college level. PRCC would be the first MACJC member to join a growing sport nationally.
Volleyball will join baseball, women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, football, rodeo, men's and women's soccer and softball at PRCC. Cross country was announced in May and will make its debut this fall.
Pearl River will immediately begin the process of building the state's first community college volleyball program.
During Tuesday's meeting the Board of Trustees also approved the addition of a bass fishing team, which will compete as a club sport starting in the spring of 2019.