KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Live Stats|Schedule) Twenty-four teams will be in action at 12 on-campus locations around the country as part of the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round on Saturday. The winners will advance to the final site at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena in Sioux City, Iowa, presented by CNOS Foundation, Nov. 27- Dec. 1.
The winners of the opening round and the 12 teams, who earned an Opening Round bye, will meet in Sioux City, Iowa to determine a National Champion. The teams to receive a 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.).
Bellevue (Neb.) and College of Idaho have hosted an opening round match each year since 2010. These two teams have combined for a 3-1 record in those two years.
Georgetown (Ky.) (15), Madonna (Mich.) (12) and Doane (Neb.) (10) are the only teams playing in the opening round that have made 10-or-more national championship appearances. Columbia (Mo.) has the most appearances out of any team in the championship with 19.
Four of the five newcomers to the National Championship, Bryan (Tenn.), Davenport (Mich.), Ottawa (Kan.) and Viterbo (Wis.), will begin play on Saturday. The Master's (Calif.) is the other first-timer and earned a bye. Davenport will travel to Viterbo at 7 p.m. CST in the first meeting between the schools in a National Championship.
Besides the newcomers, there are six teams, Cal State San Marcos, Indian East, Jamestown (N.D.), Menlo (Calif.) , St Thomas-Houston (Texas) and Xavier (La.), searching for their first Opening Round win and playing in their second-or-more National Championship
None of the teams playing in the opening round have won a national championship as only two teams in the 36-team field have won a title. Columbia and Texas at Brownsville are the only teams to raise the trophy. The Cougars have won two, while last year was the Scorpions first national championship.
The Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) leads all conferences with five teams in the field. Representing the GSAC are Biola (Calif.), Concordia (Calif.), The Master's, Vanguard (Calif.) and Westmont. The Great Plains Athletic Conference follows with three, while the American Midwest Conference, Association of Independent Institutions, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Mid-South Conference, Midwest Collegiate Conference, Red River Athletic Conference, Southern States Athletic Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference have two teams apiece in the field
The final site pool will be determined on Sunday, Nov. 18 and released by 5 p.m. CST on www.naia.org
The final 24 teams will be placed into six pools for three days of round-robin play in Sioux City. 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.
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.
For more information on the 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championship, click here.
For information in regards to Sioux City, Iowa (final site), click here.