By Colbi Howser, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Schedule) Twelve teams punched their ticket to the 2015 NAIA Volleyball National Championship final site with wins today in National Championship Opening Round action. Those programs will join the 11 teams that received a bye based on seeding and host Briar Cliff (Iowa) for the 24-team event in Sioux City, Iowa, from Dec. 1 – 5.
The final site pool play schedule will be announced on Sunday by 5 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org.
The following teams all received byes to the final site: Biola (Calif.), Briar Cliff (Iowa), Columbia (Mo.), Eastern Oregon, Hastings (Neb.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Midland (Neb.), Missouri Baptist, Park (Mo.), Rocky Mountain (Mont.), Vanguard (Calif.) and Viterbo (Wis.). These programs, with the exception of Briar Cliff, were the top 11 teams in the final Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released on Sunday, Nov. 16.
Overall, Opening Round hosts were 10-2 on the day, including eight sweeps. Since the Opening Round format was established in 2008, host institutions own a 70-14 (.833) record.
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and Ottawa (Kan.) were the two road wins today. The Tigers faced off against a good Concordia (Neb.) team, but came away with a win. The Braves shutdown a talented Wayland Baptist squad in three sets. This is Olivet Nazarene’s 11th time making it to the final site and Ottawa’s third.
Lourdes (Ohio) (32-0) is still chasing the perfect season after a win today against Trinity Christian (Ill.) in three sets. This is the Grey Wolves second time earning a spot in the National Championship.
After today’s results, the Great Plains Athletic Conference has the most teams remaining in the championship with four: Briar Cliff, Dordt (Iowa), Hastings and Midland.
NAIANetwork.com, the NAIA’s official video-streaming home, will broadcast the first 46 matches of the national championship. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, will include live statistics, social media interaction and be available on mobile-friendly devices. Single-championship packages can be purchased for $20, while an all-season pass (up to 17 championships during the 2014-15 season) is available for $75. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
For more information on the 2014 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round and National Championship final site, click here.