By Katie Green, Manager of Athletic Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Broadcast Information – Live Stats – Schedule) Eight teams will participate in the third annual NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational. Matches will take place on the campus of Grand View (Iowa) located in Des Moines, Iowa. Pool play will take place on April 17 – 19 and the semifinals and championship matches will follow on April 20 – 21.
This year’s invitational field will include three at-large bids and five automatic berths. Automatic berths were given to the conference group tournament champions. Host Grand View received a host bid but also won its conference group tournament. The at-large bids were determined by the final Coaches’ Top 10 Poll on April 8.
The NAIA Network – the association’s official video streaming home – will broadcast all 15 matches (including 12 pool play matches) live at the 2018 NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational in Des Moines, Iowa. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users access to live video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single-day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is $29.95. The semifinal and championship matches will also be produced on ESPN3. For more information and to pre-register, CLICK HERE.
2018 NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational Notes
- The Invitational field of eight includes Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.), Briar Cliff (Iowa), Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Grand View, Lourdes (Ohio), Missouri Baptist, Ottawa (Kan.) and St. Andrews (N.C.).
- The first official invitational took place in 2016 in St. Louis, Mo. and was hosted by Missouri Baptist. Prior to 2016, the sport was considered an emerging sport.
- This is the first year that Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.), Briar Cliff (Iowa) and St. Andrews (N.C.) will qualify for the invitational.
- This will be the second time that Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)and Ottawa (Kan.) have participated in the invitational.
- Grand View, Lourdes (Ohio)and Missouri Baptist have participated in all three of the invitationals.
- Missouri Baptist is the only team in the field that has won an invitational title (2016) and holds the best invitational record at 6-1.
- Host, Grand View, has finished in the semifinals the last two years and holds the second-best invitational record at 5-3.
- The 2017 invitational winner, Park (Mo.), is not returning in the 2018 Invitational.
- Five of the eight teams in the 2018 field also participated in the invitational in 2017: Cardinal Stritch, Grand View, Lourdes, Missouri Baptist
- The No. 1 ranked team, Missouri Baptist enters the invitational with only one blemish on their season record that came at the hands of Grand View.
- Grand View earned the host berth as well as winning the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament championship, which allowed for a third at-large bid.
- The Unaffiliated – AMC/GPAC/KCAC conference group has the most teams to qualify for the invitational with Briar Cliff, Missouri Baptist