How NCAA men's volleyball works
The GIST: On the men’s side, volleyball is far less widespread. Only 185 NCAA teams compete in the winter season: 27 in DI, 35 in DII, and 123 in DIII. DI and DII share a championship, while DIII schools have their own postseason tourney.
- Other than net height — the top of the men’s net is 243 cm above the ground, while the women’s sits at 224 cm — the rules of the men’s game are nearly identical to that of the women’s.
The powerhouse: UCLA has been the unquestioned king for most of the sport’s 52 championship seasons — their 20 national titles are 15 more than the next-best program (Pepperdine). After a 17-year absence from the top of the podium, the Bruins reigned supreme once again this May when they defeated Hawaii 3-1.
- Hawaii has been a force in recent years, appearing in the last four title games and winning two of them (2021 and 2022). The Bruins and the Rainbow Warriors’ rivalry is the sport’s spiciest, and their matchups are becoming must-see TV. Aces.