DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Delaware Valley University announced today that it intends to add a pair of intercollegiate sports — women’s wrestling and co-ed fencing — with competition set to begin with the 2019-20 season.
DelVal is proceeding to hire part-time head coaches who will be charged with recruiting for next season.
The intent of adding women’s wrestling and co-ed fencing at DelVal is in part a response to recent student surveys intended to gauge interests in new programs. The two programs would increase the number of intercollegiate offerings at the institution to 27 (12 men, 14 women, 1 co-ed) with more announcements possibly forthcoming. The two would also be the eighth and ninth athletics offering in the last five years as the Aggies added women’s golf, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis and women’s tennis in the summer of 2013 while the dressage and hunt seat equestrian teams moved to the department in the summer of 2017.
“We are very excited about our intention to add both women’s wrestling and fencing to our ever-growing list of athletic opportunities here at DelVal,” director of athletics Steve Cantrell said.
“Both sports have grown by leaps and bounds and it further shows the commitment by the University to our entire athletic department as well as meeting the interests of our students.”
Women’s wrestling and fencing are both emerging sports in the NCAA and their popularity has grown in recent years. According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), 48 colleges now sponsor a varsity women’s wrestling team. The number of wrestlers in high school has grown from 804 in 1994 to more than 16,000 today. Women’s wrestling has also been recognized as an Olympic sport since 2004.
Fencing, an Olympic sport since the first modern Olympics, has three weapons: epee, sabre and foil. It is a fast-growing sports in the United States, and the country has been on the rise at the international level for the past two decades.
Pages with information and recruiting forms for both sports will be added to the DelVal athletics website. An informational meeting for current students will be held early in the spring semester.