NIVC field “ideal blend of power-five programs and a group of mid-majors”

Mid-Major Poll 11/27/2018-NIVC-Mid-Major-Triple Crown-TCS

So many teams who play in one-bid leagues were so close, but ultimately lost out on a chance to go the NCAA Tournament because they didn’t win their respective conference-tournament titles and the automatic bids that came with them.

But 32 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball teams get a new lease on postseason life in the 2018 National Invitational Volleyball Championships.

The tournament begins Thursday with a field that includes the Big 12’s Iowa State, the ACC’s Georgia Tech and Clemson, and a handful of teams that got really hot at one time or another this season.

That would include Bradley of the Missouri Valley facing Bowling Green of the MAC; Central Arkansas of the Southland, which boasts a 26-6 record; the American Athletic’s Tulane, which finished the season on the upswing, and even Fresno State of the Mountain West, whose senior woman administrator, Carrie Coll, is the chair of the NCAA volleyball committee.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the makeup of the teams that will be competing for the 2018 NIVC crown,” tournament director Jared Rudiger said. “It’s an ideal blend of well-known power-five programs and a group of mid-major teams that have often missed out on the thrills and excitement of postseason play.

“The geographic mix also gives the tournament a fresh look, as teams will likely face opponents they’d never see otherwise.”

Much like the WNIT and NIT events in college basketball, the NIVC taps into the impressive depth of NCAA Division I volleyball and is designed to give more high-performing, highly skilled programs a chance to play for a postseason title.

(home team for each match listed first, all times Eastern)
November 29 at Iowa State
Bradley (23-8) vs. Bowling Green (19-11), 5 p.m.
Iowa State (16-13) vs. Drake (21-14), 7:30
November 30
Winners, 7:30 p.m.
November 29 at North Texas
Wichita State (13-17) vs. Central Arkansas (26-6), 5:30 p.m
North Texas (17-16) vs. Tulsa (19-11), 8 p.m.
November 30
Winners, 6:30 p.m.
November 29 at UNLV
Fresno State (20-10) vs. UC Santa Barbara, (17-11), 7:30 p.m.
UNLV (19-11) vs. UC Irvine (16-12), 10 p.m.
November 30
Winners, 10 p.m.
November 29 at Wyoming
Portland (18-12) vs. Northern Colorado (15-13), 6 p.m.
Wyoming (20-10) vs. Utah Valley (19-13), 8:30 p.m.
November 30
Winners, 8:30 p.m.
November 29 at Tulane
Arkansas-Little Rock (19-12) vs. Cal Baptist (19-10), 6 p.m.
Tulane (25-8) vs. Arkansas State (19-13), 8:30 p.m.
November 30
Winners, 8 p.m.
November 29 at Miami (Ohio)
Valparaiso (25-10) vs. Ball State (22-9), 5:30 p.m.
Miami (22-8) vs. Northern Kentucky (21-9), 8 p.m.
November 30
Winners, 7 p.m.
November 29 at Georgia Tech
College of Charleston (21-11) vs. St. John’s (23-11), 4 p.m.
Georgia Tech (17-14) vs. USF (20-11), 7 p.m.
November 30
Winners, 7 p.m.
November 29 at Clemson
Appalachian State (22-8) vs. Radford (21-6), 4 p.m.
Clemson (17-14) vs. Alabama A&M (22-15), 7 p.m.
November 30
Winners, 7 p.m.

The third round is scheduled for December 5-7, the semifinals December 7-9, and the 2018 NIVC Championship match will be held Tuesday, December 11, at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Ole Miss won the 2017 title over Texas Tech.

About Triple Crown Sports: Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, Triple Crown Sports has been producing college and youth events for more than 35 years. TCS runs both the preseason and postseason WNIT basketball events and produces the men’s and women’s Cancun Challenge tournaments in November. Triple Crown is also powering “WNIT” concept events in D-I softball (NISC) and volleyball (NIVC), with those two events debuting in 2017. TCS youth fast-pitch tournaments (including the 900-team Sparkler/Fireworks event) draw the nation’s finest club programs, and hundreds of college coaches attend TCS events for recruiting purposes.