By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Pool Play Bracket) (Championship) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has released the pool assignments and schedule for the 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championship final site presented by CNOS Foundation. Twelve National Championship Opening Round winners meet up with 12 teams with byes and invade the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena in Sioux City, Iowa, from Nov. 27 - Dec. 1.
There are six pools with four teams in each pool and they all start action on Nov. 27. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the single-elimination bracket starting Nov. 30. The championship match will take place on Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. CST.
The 12 teams that earned an Opening Round bye are: Biola (Calif.), Columbia (Mo.), Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Hastings (Neb.), Indiana Wesleyan, Lee (Tenn.), The Master's (Calif.), Morningside (Iowa), Oklahoma Baptist, Texas at Brownsville, and Westmont (Calif.). Viterbo (Wis.), a 3-0 winner over Davenport yesterday in the Opening Round, joins with The Master's as championship rookies to advance out of the Opening Round.
The two teams with previous national championship titles earned, Columbia and Texas at Brownsville, are on top of Pools B and C, respectively. Texas Brownsville is the defending national champion, while Columbia took home the hardware in 1998, 1999 and 2001.
Columbia leads all participants with a 74-37 championship record in its 19th all-time appearance.
The Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) sends four programs to Sioux City: Biola, Concordia (Calif.), The Master's and Westmont. Besides Westmont, the other three teams have combined to win 95 championship matches. BIola is second amongst the qualifiers in all-time playoffs wins with a 42-21 record.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video-streaming company of 12 select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all single elimination matches of the 2012 Volleyball National Championship. The single-elimination matches' start at 10 a.m. CST on Nov. 30 will be streamed and coverage will continue through the championship match on 8 p.m. CST on Dec. 1. Click here for more information.