Men's Volleyball - Mon, Jun. 8, 2009
CHICAGO - After playing at club status since the 2004 season, the Saint Xavier University Athletics Department recently decided to upgrade men's volleyball to varsity competition for the upcoming 2009-10 season. The addition gives SXU Athletics 13 varsity sports all under the direction of athletics director Bob Hallberg. The new Cougar squad will be coached by current Saint Xavier University women's volleyball coach Robert Heersema and will begin its first official season of play in January 2010.

"After operating this program at the club status for the last few years, our administration felt the need to upgrade men's volleyball to varsity competition," said Hallberg. "We need to take advantage of being located in one of the best areas in the state for boy's high school volleyball. This addition will only continue to strengthen what is already a very strong athletics department."

Heersema has wasted no time in building his roster for the 2010 campaign recently signing Joseph Mooney out of Shepard High School in Palos Heights, Ill. Mooney was a two-time all-conference middle blocker for the Astros under coach Joan Alderden. He also played for the Ultimate Volleyball Club in Frankfort, Ill., under director Keith Kujawa from 2006-09.

"I am very excited to have the opportunity to take Cougar men's volleyball to the next level," said Heersema. "Being able to service the rich boy's volleyball community in the Chicagoland area is a dream come true for me. I feel like this area is a true untapped resource of volleyball talent and now I get the chance to draw from it. To emphasize this point, it took me only one day to land our first recruit and I am really excited about his level of play and experience."

Saint Xavier University Athletics belongs to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Since the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) does not include men's volleyball, the Cougars will seek membership into the Mid-America Men's Volleyball Intercollegiate Conference (MAMVIC), which includes area teams such as Moody Bible Institute (Ill.) and Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.).