Earlier today, the ongoing saga that has seen varsity programs across the country come under threat enjoyed the writing of a new chapter.
In a statement announced today, the Department of Athletics and Recreation at Wilfrid Laurier University has indicated its intention to discontinue both the men's and women's varsity volleyball programs at its school, effective as of the upcoming 2011-2012 season.
The decision comes on the heels of a departmental review process which found the programs to be particularly uncompetitive with their Ontario rivals. According to the department's internal review, both volleyball squads would require a virtual doubling in funding to approach levels necessary to place them on par with provincial counterparts.
The Golden Hawks volleyball outfits have also struggled for results in recent years, a fact which no doubt aided the department in their decision to discontinue them. Laurier's men's team has enjoyed only one winning season since 2005, and finished their 2010-11 campaign by placing seventh among eleven teams with a record of 8-12. That mark earned the Waterloo outfit a rare playoff berth, but they were swiftly beaten by the McMaster Marauders in the OUA quarterfinals.
The Golden Hawks women's team was similarly unsuccessful in recent years, and posted a record of 8-11 this past season to finish fifth in the OUA West rankings and eight points adrift of the playoffs.
Laurier officials explain that cuts to varsity expenditures were necessary if they were to accommodate an explosion in demand for intramural and recreational activities. The funding freed up by the discontinuation of the volleyball program will be reallocated in part to the school's basketball, hockey, football, and soccer squads in an effort to boost Laurier's profile in the remainder of what the internal report deems the "Market Driven Sports". Facility time vacated by the volleyballers will henceforth be used for intramural purposes.