By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Opening Round Pairings) (Video Announcement) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the pairings for the 2013 Volleyball National Championship Opening Round. There will be 24 teams playing in 12 Opening Rounds matches at 12 campus locations on Nov. 23. There are 12 teams that received a bye in the Opening Round and advance to play at the NAIA National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa., starting Dec. 3.
The following teams have received an Opening Round bye: Biola (Calif.), Briar Cliff (Iowa), Columbia (Mo.), Concordia (Calif.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Madonna (Mich.), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Midland (Neb.), Northwestern (Iowa), Oklahoma Baptist, Texas at Brownsville and Vanguard (Calif.). These teams were the top 11 teams ranked in the final NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 Poll released on Sunday, Nov. 17, in addition to the National Championship final site host team, Briar Cliff.
Five of those programs also enjoyed a bye in 2012: Biola, Columbia, Concordia, Oklahoma Baptist and Texas at Brownsville.
This year’s 36 teams include 27 automatic qualifiers, eight at-large bids and one host berth earned by Briar Cliff. The auto qualifiers were awarded to teams that either won their respective conference/independent tournament or regular season championship, or was a runner-up in their respective conference/independent regular season. The at-large berths were determined by the final Top 25 Poll.
Bellevue (Neb.), College of Idaho and Georgetown (Ky.) serve as hosts in 2013, while they also were the home institution during last year's National Championship Opening Round. Overall, the hosts recorded a 10-2 mark last year. The other teams to earn host status on Nov. 23 are: Bryan (Tenn.), Dordt (Iowa), Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Grand View (Iowa), Park (Mo.), Spring Hill (Ala.), The Master's (Calif.), Wayland Baptist (Texas) and Westmont (Calif.).
Defending national champion Concordia, who enters the National Championship with a 23-2 overall record, holds one of the best playoff winning percentage (.795). In eight previous appearances, the Eagles own a 35-9 mark.
Three qualifiers have won at least one previous national championship: Columbia (3), Concordia (1) and Texas at Brownsville (1). Former member Brigham Young-Hawaii holds the most in NAIA history with eight.
Columbia is the active leader in both championship appearances at 20 and playoff wins with a 79-38 record. Five other clubs will be playing in at least their 10th postseason: Biola (13), Dordt (10), Georgetown (16), Madonna (13) and Northwestern (11).
Five teams punched their first-ever ticket into the National Championship: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Lourdes (Ohio), Midland, Park and Wayland Baptist (Texas). Last year, five newcomers also participated in the event.
The Golden State Athletic Conference claims the most programs in the championship field with five: Biola, Concordia, The Master's, Vanguard and Westmont. The Great Plains Athletic Conference sends four teams into the competition: Briar Cliff, Dordt, Midland and Northwestern. No other conference will send more than two teams to the event.
Madonna and Texas at Brownsville enter the championship as the only undefeated teams. The Crusaders sport a 38-0 mark, while Texas at Brownsville sits at 31-0. Other notable active win streaks to mention are Spring Hill's 27-gamer and Xavier's (La.) 20-game streak.
The final 24 teams, which are comprised of the 12 Opening Round champions and the 12 teams with a bye, will be placed into six pools and compete in round-robin pool play at the National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa form Dec. 3 -- 5. The top-two teams from each pool advance to the single-elimination bracket Dec. 6. The championship match will take place on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. CST at the Tyson Events Center.
The final site pool play format will be determined on Sunday, Nov. 24 and released by 5 p.m. CST.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all 47 matches of the 2013 Volleyball National Championship in Sioux City. For the first time ever, all pool play matches from Dec. 3 - 5, in addition to bracket play through the championship final Dec. 7 will be streamed live. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for $24.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
For more information on the 2013 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round and National Championship final site, click here.
2013 Volleyball National Championship Opening Round Pairings
Nov. 23 | Campus Sites | All times local
|Match 1||Lourdes (Ohio) (21-12) at Georgetown (Ky.) (32-9)|
|Match 2||Asbury (Ky.) (35-7) at Park (Mo.) (33-5)|
|Match 3||Menlo (Calif.) (19-6) at Westmont (Calif.) (21-8)|
|Match 4||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (28-12) at Dordt (Iowa) (22-7)|
|Match 5||Cal State San Marcos (26-11) at The Master's (Calif.) (19-8)|
|Match 6||Trinity Christian (Ill.) (36-7) at Belleuve (Neb.) (34-8)|
|Match 7||Mobile (Ala.) (24-13) at Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (21-9)|
|Match 8||Ottawa (Kan.) (20-13) at Wayland Baptist (Texas) (30-6)|
|Match 9||IU East (23-15) at Grand View (Iowa) (29-13)|
|Match 10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (24-6) at College of Idaho (18-9)|
|Match 11||Xavier (La.) (26-7) at Spring Hill (Ala.) (35-3)|
|Match 12||Indiana Wesleyan (28-10) at Bryan (Tenn.) (33-3)|