2016 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round Recap
By Nikki Sherrill, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Schedule) Following a day of matches spread across the country, 12 teams have punched their tickets to the 2016 NAIA Volleyball National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa. These 12 winners will join the other 19 teams and host Morningside (Iowa) for pool and bracket play at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City Nov. 29 – Dec. 3.
The final site pool play schedule will be announced on Sunday by 5 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org.
This year’s field saw an expansion of eight teams from previous years, allowing 44 programs to qualify and 32 competing at the final site. The following teams all received byes to the final site: Carroll (Mont.), Columbia (Mo.), Doane (Neb.), Dordt (Neb.), Eastern Oregon, Georgetown (Ky.), Grand View (Iowa), Hastings (Neb.), Indiana Wesleyan, Jamestown (N.D.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Lourdes (Ohio), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Midland (Neb.), Missouri Baptist, Morningside (Iowa), Oklahoma City, Park (Mo.), Viterbo (Wis.) and Westmont (Calif.)
Of the 12 matches played today, home teams managed a record of just 8-4 with only three sweeps. Three matches went to five sets with Union (Ky.) being the only host to win a five-set thriller. Since the Opening Round format was established in 2008, host institutions own a 78-18 (.812) record.
Four programs went on the road to try and earn their trip to Sioux City, coming away with big wins. Tabor (Kan.) extended its first appearance in the national championship with a 3-1 win against Wayland Baptist (Texas). IU Kokomo (Ind.) and College of the Ozarks (Mo.) both won 3-2 on the road with wins against Ottawa (Kan.) and Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), respectively.
With their victories today, the following teams will join the rest of the national championship qualifiers in Sioux City starting with pool play on Nov. 29 – Union, Bellevue (Neb.), Montana Tech, Madonna (Mich.), IU Kokomo, St. Francis (Ill.), College of the Ozarks, Coastal Georgia, Mobile (Ala.), Corban (Ore.), Biola (Calif.) and Tabor.
Through the Opening Round, the Great Plains Athletic Conference has the most teams remaining in the field with five, including: host Morningside (Iowa), Hastings (Neb.), Dordt (Iowa), Doane (Neb.) and Midland (Neb.).
The NAIA Network – the association’s official video streaming home – will broadcast all 63 matches (including 48 pool-play matches) live at the 2016 NAIA Volleyball National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users access to live video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while a pool play pass is $24.95 (Nov. 29 – Dec. 2) and an all-championship package is available at $39.95. For more information and the pre-register, click here.
For more information on the 2016 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round and National Championship final site, click here.