By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Scoreboard) Nine of 12 hosts were on the winning end and three squads earned their first-ever championship victory, which highlighted the 2013 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round on Saturday. Since the Opening Round format began in 2008, the hosts now improve to 59-13 overall.
Of teams that have appeared at least one prior time, Trinity Christian (Ill.) picked up its first-ever national championship win. The Trolls trailed 2-1 before coming back for a 3-2 (9-25, 26-24, 21-25, 25-20, 15-13) win at No. 17-ranked Bellevue (Neb.). In its second championship appearance, Trinity Christian was impressive against a Bellevue team that was hosting for the fifth-straight Opening Round, which is a NAIA record.
Newcomers Park (Mo.) and Wayland Baptist (Texas) both secured wins this afternoon -- both coming at home in 3-0 sweeps.
Indiana Wesleyan and Rocky Mountain (Mont.) were the other two road teams to grab a victory. The Wildcats swept Bryan (Tenn.), 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-21). The home loss for Brayn snapped a 17-match win streak, which dated back to September of 2012.
Rocky Mountain held on, 3-2 (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 19-25, 15-7) against College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho. The loss was the first for the Coyotes in the Opening Round -- they were 4-0 coming into tonight's match.
The 12 Opening Round winners today join the teams with a bye, who 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 (Iowa). These 24 teams meet up in Sioux City, Iowa, from Dec. 3 - 7 in the National Championship final site, presented by J&L Enterprises and CNOS Foundation
The final site pool play bracket will be announced on Sunday by 5 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org. There will be four teams placed in six different pools, with the top two teams from each pool advancing to bracket play.
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.