KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dakota State (S.D.) continues its historic season as they found out that they are one of the 44 teams competing in the upcoming NAIA Volleyball National Tournament Monday morning.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has officially announced the teams and Opening Round pairings for the 2019 NAIA Volleyball National Championship. The 44-team event will get underway with 12 National Championship Opening Round matches at campus locations on Nov. 23.
The top 19 seeds and championship host Morningside (Iowa) automatically advance to the national championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa. Action inside the Tyson Events Center starts with three days of pool play from Dec. 3-5. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the elimination bracket on Dec. 6, and the national champion will be crowned Dec. 7 with first serve set for 7 p.m. (CST) on ESPN3.
This year's field includes 36 automatic qualifiers, 7 at-large selections and one host berth (Morningside). The automatic berths are determined by regular-season champions or runner-ups, conference tournament title winners or runner-ups. The remaining at-large bids were determined by the final regular-season Women's Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 Poll announced Monday. Final sites pools will be determined on Sunday, Nov. 24, and released by 5 p.m. (CST).
Dakota State (19-12 overall record) will be making their first-ever appearance in the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament Opening Round on Saturday as an at-large team. The Trojans, who cracked in the final NAIA's Top 25 national poll for the first time in program history at No. 22, will be traveling to Leavenworth, Kan. to take on Saint Mary (Kan.) (29-10 overall record) on Saturday at Ryan Sports Center. Match time has not been determined.
Saint Mary qualified as the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champion and lost in the conference tournament's championship match to Ottawa (Kan.).
Dakota State is coming off with their third victory in the same season over nationally-ranked Bellevue (Neb.) in the North Star Athletic Association volleyball tournament's semifinals on Nov. 15 in Watertown, S.D. The Trojans fell in four sets to No. 6-ranked Viterbo (Wis.) in the NSAA tournament's championship match on Nov. 16.
The North Star Athletic Association has three teams competing in the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament. No. 6-ranked Viterbo (Wis.) received the opening round bye and will play in the final site of the national tournament tin Sioux City. No. 23-ranked Bellevue is scheduled to host the play-in versus Lincoln College (Ill.) on Saturday.
Below is the list of 12 NAIA Volleyball National Tournament Opening Round match-ups, vying for a spot to the final site of the national tournament at the Tyson Events in Sioux City, Iowa:
Lincoln Christian (Ill.) at (20) College of Saint Mary (Neb.)
Menlo (Calif.) at (21) Embry-Riddle (Ariz.)
Lincoln (Ill.) at (23) Bellevue (Neb.)
Florida Memorial at (24) Reinhardt (Ga.)
Point (Ga.) at Westmont (Calif.)
Indiana Kokomo at Trinity Christian (Ill.)
William Carey (Miss.) at Xavier (La.)
Indiana South Bend at Madonna (Mich.)
Brescia (Ky.) at Ottawa (Kan.)
Huston-Tillotson (Texas) at Texas Wesleyan
Martin Methodist (Tenn.) at Milligan (Tenn.)
(22) Dakota State (S.D.) at Saint Mary (Kan.)
The NAIA Network – the association's official video-streaming home – will broadcast all matches excluding the semifinals and championship matches live at the 2019 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 (Dec. 3-5) and a championship package is available at $39.95. You can also buy an All-Championship pass and watch every championship streamed on the NAIA Network in 2018.
The semifinal and championship matches will be streamed via ESPN3.