Viterbo has added competitive dance and cheer and men’s volleyball as varsity sports, with competition set to begin in 2018–19.
“We believe both these sports are great fits for Viterbo University and we are very excited for the future of both programs,” said Barry Fried, Viterbo director of athletics.
Men’s volleyball continues to increase in popularity at the high school level across the Midwest, especially in larger metropolitan areas such as Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis. It is anticipated to be the next sport to receive “Championship Level” status from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). College men’s volleyball programs have been added at schools in Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois as the sport continues to grow.
“The tremendous success of our women’s volleyball program has brought significant attention to Viterbo, so we are confident that will help in building a strong men’s program,” Fried said.
Competitive dance and cheer is also popular in Wisconsin and surrounding states, and several acclaimed dance studios are located in the La Crosse area. Competitive dance and cheer recently gained “Championship Level” sport status from the NAIA. It also fits well with Viterbo’s storied history in the fine arts.
“There will be numerous opportunities for our collegiate dance and cheer team members to collaborate with local dance studios,” Fried said. “There will also be opportunities for our dance and cheer program to hold camps and clinics for area youth and to also serve as mentors for area young people.”
The two newest additions to Viterbo’s varsity sports offerings are in keeping with the objective to increase the number of the university’s athletics teams over the past 10 years. The goal in the first year is to build a foundation for both teams by recruiting a minimum of 10 new athletes in each sport.
“This is a unique opportunity for students to follow their passion and attend Viterbo to be a part of our new teams and to help build the programs,” Fried said.