Many volleyball players opt to compete on a JUCO volleyball team (also referred to as junior college volleyball teams) after their senior year in high school. In fact, many junior colleges are feeder programs for powerhouse D1 volleyball programs. For many athletes, junior college gives them an opportunity to improve their GPA and knock out some general education requirements. It also gives athletes some time to develop physically and get experience competing against older, more challenging volleyball players. For athletes who aren’t sure what they’d like to major in or don’t have the grades in high school, this is a great way to keep playing volleyball while moving their academics forward.
Make no mistake, JUCO and NJCAA volleyball teams compete at an extremely high level! Playing at a junior college gives athletes an opportunity to get two years of experience against college-level athletes, which can help them prepare for the rigors of four-year collegiate volleyball.
While the NJCAA has become synonymous with JUCO sports teams, it’s only one of a few different governing bodies for JUCO sports. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is the largest junior college governing body, but the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) also has many member institutes offering women’s volleyball programs.
Because women’s volleyball is such a large (and growing) sport, the NJCAA volleyball is broken up into three divisions, just like at the NCAA level. The division levels are primarily broken out based on how many scholarships the member institutions are allowed to give their athletes. Here’s a brief explanation of the division levels:
The NJCAA released the results of its Fall 2019 poll to reveal the top ranked NJCAA women’s volleyball programs. Visit NJCAA’s website for a full list of top ranked programs and more information on each team. The top 10 volleyball colleges are ranked below.
You can view NCSA’s Power Rankings for top volleyball schools across all divisions here.
Every year, the CCCAA compiles its volleyball rankings to list out the best volleyball colleges. Here are the most recent rankings: