This weekend, the Fort Valley State University men’s volleyball program, which began this year, will be looking to show what it can do in a historic game. Get the story from staff at The Telegraph below.
The Fort Valley State Wildcats are set for the biggest week of their inaugural men’s volleyball.
FVSU will work together with the most successful collegiate men’s volleyball program, UCLA, in giving back to the Peach County community before the two teams take to the HPE Arena court Saturday evening.
The 19-time NCAA champion UCLA Bruins are coming to Georgia for a weekend-long trip that’s about more than playing two times on the men’s volleyball court.
On Saturday, the teams will put on a volleyball Serve/Pass clinic from 1-3 p.m. for the Big Brother/Big Sister organization of Peach County in FVSU’s HPE Arena. The Wildcats and Bruins will finish the day by playing in the same arena starting at 6 p.m.
Head coach John Speraw and his Bruins will work with both the Atlanta and Peach County communities in youth and coaching clinics, as well as playing both first-year Morehouse and Fort Valley State programs aimed to help the growth of men’s volleyball in Georgia.
“Being able to have UCLA come out and play us on our home court speaks volume to what we’re trying to do here in the SIAC and at Fort Valley State University,” said Wildcats head coach Larry Wrather. “As we continue to try to grow this game on the boys/men’s side, having a top 10 program in your gym to train with and compete against only helps our guys get caught up to that level faster.”
FVSU, UCLA GROWING MEN’S VOLLEYBALL
“We are excited about the opportunity to play Fort Valley State and Morehouse College which are two of the six new men’s volleyball programs in the SIAC conference,” UCLA Men’s Volleyball Head Coach John Speraw said “This trip affords our student-athletes the chance to play our first ever match in the state of Georgia — a state where we expect boy’ volleyball to rapidly increase in participation and popularity over the coming years.
“Our players and staff are eager to make this an impactful week and appreciate the experience this will provide all the institutions.”
Led by Speraw, the Bruins team will conduct several youth and coaching clinics for local club, middle school, and high school athletes and coaches in the greater Atlanta and Peach County areas. They will end the week with matches against Morehouse College and Fort Valley State University, two of six new HBCU collegiate men’s volleyball programs in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“Partnering with UCLA to reach out to the community and grow the sport is honestly awesome. We get a chance to inspire that next generation to look into volleyball and wanting to get interested in playing. That’s a big part of what we strive for here at Fort Valley as we want to grow the game in our community more, so our men are fighting hard every day in the gym and in matches to try to inspire that next kid to want to be involved,” added Wrather.
FIRST POINT HELPING FUND TEAMS
In 2019, the SIAC received a $1 million grant from First Point Volleyball Foundation ($600,000) and USA Volleyball ($400,000) to fund the addition of men’s volleyball. First Point Volleyball Foundation was co-founded Speraw in 2016.
As a result of First Point and USA Volleyball’s gift, the SIAC began its inaugural season in January with six participating programs: Benedict College, Central State University, Edward Watters College, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, and Morehouse College.
A NEW HBCU VOLLEYBALL DOCUMENTARY
A team of students from Ball State University will also join the Bruins in Atlanta. The Ball State team is producing a documentary titled Match Point 2.0, which will chronicle the SIAC’s inaugural season and explore how the addition of six new programs at HBCUs is increasing opportunities for minority athletes.