By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
Conference Tournament Report
• There are 23 conference, independent and unaffiliated group tournaments currently playing out through Nov. 16. Those tournament champions, along with 13 other programs, will receive berths to the 36-team NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
• For the most up-to-date information on all of the NAIA Volleyball Conference Tournaments, click here.
• In all, there are 27 automatic berths for the Opening Round. There are five conferences -- American Midwest Conference, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Southern States Athletic Conference and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference -- that each receive two automatic berths due to being a 12-or-more member league.
• The seven or eight remaining at-large bids will be decided by the final Coaches' Top 25 Poll announced on Sunday, Nov. 17. The caveat of the number of at-large teams is dependent upon the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) and if their tournament winner, to be crowned Saturday, is ranked in the final Top 25 Poll. If that occurs, then the NSAA will earn an automatic berth and there will then be seven at-large bids.
• Of the 36 spots available in the Opening Round, the top 11 seeds earn a bye and move on to play in the National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa. Briar Cliff (Iowa), out of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, grabs the 12th and final berth as the host institution in the National Championship final site.
• Opening Round pairings will be announced via a live graphical show at Noon CST on Monday, Nov. 18.
• There are four teams who have already secured automatic berths by winning their respective regular-season conference championships: Asbury (Ky.) (Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), Madonna (Mich.) (Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference), Spring Hill (Ala.) (Southern States Athletic Conference) and Trinity Christian (Ill.) (Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference). The American Midwest Conference is the only other league that will send two auto berths and those teams will be decided this weekend.
• This year's conference tournaments kicked off in the NSAA on Nov. 2. No. 4 seed Dakota State (S.D.) swept No. 5 seed Presentation (S.D.) to move on to the semifinal round.
• This Saturday, the first tournament champions of 2013 will be decided in four leagues -- Crossroads League, NSAA, Red River Athletic Conference and the Southern States Athletic Conference.
• Hailing from the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), No. 1-ranked Texas at Brownsville will be the top seed and host the RRAC tournament starting on Friday. The Ocelots, who halted then-No. 1 ranked Concordia's (Calif.) 54-match win streak back on Oct. 19, is one of two undefeated teams remaining with a 29-0 mark.
• The Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) is the only league not to conduct a tournament. Instead, the regular-season champion punches its ticket into the Opening Round. All season long, the GSAC has placed five teams in the Top 25: No. 2 Concordia, No. 3 Biola (Calif.), No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.), No. 11 The Master's (Calif.) and No. 14 Westmont (Calif.). Concordia is the reigning national champion and currently is tied with Biola at 10-1 for the GSAC lead. Both clubs will meet up on Nov. 16 to likely decide the GSAC representative into the Opening Round.
• No. 5 Northwestern (Iowa), a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), is the No. 1 seed of the GPAC Tournament after winning its fourth regular-season title in the last six years. The Red Raiders will have to face the potential of meeting up with a tough field including two other Top 25 programs: No. 6 Midland (Neb.) and No. 16 Dordt (Iowa).
• The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Tournament includes three programs in the Top 25: No. 4 Madonna, No. 20 Cornerstone (Mich.) and No. 21 Davenport (Mich.). In addition to winning the regular-season title, Madonna is the No. 1 seed, followed by Davenport, Cornerstone and Northwestern Ohio to round out the top four seeds. Action begins Nov. 13 when seeds five-through-12 play in the first round.
• Madonna, who completed its second-ever regular season with an undefeated record at 35-0 -- first since 2005 -- holds the longest active win streak of any NAIA team. Next in line is 31-straight victories by Northwestern, 29 by Texas at Brownsville, 24 by Spring Hill and 18 by Xavier (La.).
* All information through games played on Thursday, Nov. 7
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
• For the sixth-straight year, Sioux City, Iowa, will play host to the 34th annual NAIA National Championship. The final site event will take place Dec. 3 – 7 at the Tyson Events Center.
• The National Championship Opening Round will occur Nov. 23 with 12 matches going on at various campus sites. Those 12 winners will meet up with the top 12 seeds, who earned an Opening Round bye, for a 24-team national championship final site event in Sioux City.
• On Oct. 24, two title sponsors were named: CNOS Foundation and J&L Enterprises Staffing and Recruiting.
• Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance starting Oct 28. To purchase tickets, visit the Tyson Events Center Box Office or purchase at www.ticketmaster.com. Single session tickets are $10 - Adults; $5 - Children ages 6-18 and college students with ID. All-Session passes are $35 – Adults; $25 - Children, college students and teachers with ID.