By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Opening Round Pairings) (Video Announcement) The 2013 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Volleyball National Championship will kick off action with 12 Opening Round matches on Saturday. The 12 Opening Round champions will join 11 teams who earned a bye, and host school Briar Cliff (Iowa), for the 24-team NAIA National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa, from Dec. 3 - 7.
The final site pool play bracket will be announced on Sunday by 5 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org.
Defending national champion Concordia (Calif.), along with Biola (Calif.), Briar Cliff (Iowa), Columbia (Mo.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Madonna (Mich.), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Midland (Neb.), Northwestern (Iowa), Oklahoma Baptist, Texas at Brownsville and Vanguard (Calif.), all earned Opening Round byes. These teams were the top 11 teams ranked in the final NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 Poll released on Nov. 17, in addition to the National Championship final site host team, Briar Cliff.
Bellevue (Neb.) headlines the list of 2013 Opening Round hosts. The Bruins will be the only school in Opening Round history to serve as hosts five-or-more consecutive times when they welcome Trinity Christian (Ill.) to Omaha, Neb., on Saturday -- no program has hosted all six events. Bellevue (34-8) is joined by College of Idaho as the only host institution for five Opening Rounds overall -- the Coyotes appeared in the 2009 National Championship but did not host that season.
College of Idaho is currently riding a four-match win streak in the Opening Round, which is the longest of any current member in the 24-team field. The Coyotes (18-9) are set to host for the fifth time overall, since the Opening Round format began in 2008, as they welcome Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (24-6) to Caldwell, Idaho. College of Idaho qualified by winning the Cascade Collegiate Conference regular-season title -- and added the tournament championship title on Nov. 16 -- and will be making its sixth-straight appearance in the National Championship.
The hosts have held a distinct advantage with a 50-10 record since the Opening Round format started in 2008. Last season, all hosts finished with a 10-2 overall mark with Doane (Neb.) and Vanguard (Calif.) suffering losses on their home court.
From a wins standpoint, College of Idaho and former member Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) are the only programs with four Opening Round wins at home. Both programs are 4-0 overall on their home court.
The other teams to earn host status on Nov. 23 are: Bryan (Tenn.), Dordt (Iowa), Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Georgetown (Ky.), Grand View (Iowa), Park (Mo.), Spring Hill (Ala.), The Master's (Calif.), Wayland Baptist (Texas) and Westmont (Calif.).
Senior middle blocker Kristine Egebrecht of Indiana Wesleyan is the only returning First Team All-American playing in the Opening Round. The Crossroads League Player of the Year currently stands 16th in the NAIA in hitting percentage (.362). She leads the the 28-10 Wildcats in a road match at Bryan (Tenn.) (33-3).
Senior outside hitter Sam Dougherty of The Master's and junior outside hitter Rachel Eubanks of Georgetown are other returning All-Americans -- Dougherty earned 2012 Second Team status and Eubanks was a Third-Teamer. Dougherty currently ranks sixth in the NAIA in kills per game (4.2) and Eubanks is third on the team in kills per game (2.55).
Trinity Christian holds the most wins on the season in the 24-team Opening Round field -- the Trolls stand 36-7. Champions of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference travel to Bellevue for a 2 p.m. CST match. Spring Hill is the only other Opening Round team to win 35-plus matches as it takes a 35-3 mark into a home event against Xavier (La.) (26-7). Both teams carry long win streaks on the season -- Spring Hill is at 27-straight wins, while Xavier is at 20 consecutive.
Twenty-five teams make a return trip to the National Championship, and six of those squads appeared in the 2012 quarterfinals. No. 2-ranked Concordia, owners of a 23-2 overall record, will travel to Sioux City, Iowa, and the final site for the eighth-straight time and ninth overall.
None of the Opening Round teams have won a national championship. Three teams that have advanced to the National Championship final site 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.
Five teams punched their first-ever ticket into the National Championship: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Lourdes (Ohio), Midland, Park and Wayland Baptist. 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.
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
|Match 1||Lourdes (Ohio) (21-12) at Georgetown (Ky.) (32-9), 1 p.m. EST|
|Match 2||Asbury (Ky.) (34-7) at Park (Mo.) (33-5), 2 p.m. CST|
|Match 3||Menlo (Calif.) (19-6) at Westmont (Calif.) (21-8), 7 p.m. PST|
|Match 4||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (28-12) at Dordt (Iowa) (22-7), 7 p.m. CST|
|Match 5||Cal State San Marcos (26-11) at The Master's (Calif.) (19-8), 7 p.m. PST|
|Match 6||Trinity Christian (Ill.) (36-7) at Belleuve (Neb.) (34-8), 2 p.m. CST|
|Match 7||Mobile (Ala.) (24-13) at Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (21-9), 2 p.m. EST|
|Match 8||Ottawa (Kan.) (20-13) at Wayland Baptist (Texas) (30-6), 2 p.m. CST|
|Match 9||IU East (23-15) at Grand View (Iowa) (29-13), 7:30 p.m. CST|
|Match 10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (24-6) at College of Idaho (18-9), 7 p.m. MST|
|Match 11||Xavier (La.) (26-7) at Spring Hill (Ala.) (35-3), 1 p.m. CST|
|Match 12||Indiana Wesleyan (28-10) at Bryan (Tenn.) (33-3), 2 p.m. EST|
OPENING ROUND RECORDS
Teams that have hosted 3-or-more times:
|College of Idaho||5*||4-0|
|Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||4||4-0|
|Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||3||2-1|
Teams with the most wins as a host (2 or more wins):
|College of Idaho||4-0|
|Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||4-0|
|Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||2-1|
Teams with the most consecutive times hosting (3 or more):
|Bellevue (Neb.)||5* (2009-13)|
|College of Idaho||4* (2010-13)|
|Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||4 (2008-11)|
|Doane (Neb.)||3 (2008-10)|
* Includes hosting 2013 Opening Round