After the plans for the 2020 national championship were brought to a halt due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball National Championship will come to Dubuque and be played at Loras College in 2024 following the NCAA’s announcement of the host sites for the 2023-26 national championships among all divisions on Wednesday.
The NCAA received more than 3,000 bid submissions from NCAA member schools, conferences, sports commissions and cities vying to host predetermined rounds for 86 of the NCAA’s 90 championships. The sites were selected by the respective NCAA sports committees and approved by the divisional competition oversight and championships committees. Forty-three states plus the District of Columbia were selected to host at least one NCAA championship event, with California garnering the most, with 34. Texas was second with 30, while North Carolina totaled 28, followed by Pennsylvania with 27 and Ohio with 25.
This announcement marks the third national championship that Loras has hosted in school history, having previously hosted the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in both 2004 and 2007. The championship on Apr. 26-27, 2024 will be the first inside the Athletic and Wellness Center.
“Our athletic department is honored to host an NCAA Championship in men’s volleyball and bring high quality volleyball to Dubuque,” said Director of Athletics Denise Udelhofen (’90). “We can’t wait to showcase our athletic facilities and gives our men’s volleyball program a goal to strive for in the coming years. We look forward to the planning that goes into conducting a first class event and I am confident our staff will do a great job!”
Loras had earned the 2020 bid and were weeks away from welcoming the final four teams to the Key City when the NCAA canceled all spring championships out of health and safety concerns for the student-athletes, event staff and spectators.
Men’s volleyball has established itself as an up and coming sport in the Midwest and in Iowa and the Duhawks have experienced compounding success in the program’s six seasons. Head coach Jeremy Thornburg was eager to see the championship unfold in 2020 but is ready to have it come back to his team’s home court in the future.
“There are no words to describe the excitement I have for Loras to host the national championship in 2024,” he said. “With the unfortunate turn of the pandemic, our plans did not happen, but it is such a bright spot for our program to have this on this horizon. I am confident the college and Dubuque will be great hosts for all the teams and fans.”
For more information and a complete list of championship sites for all Divisions and sports, click HERE.