UNK volleyball qualifies for 22nd-straight postseason

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 9:36 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The 12th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team is in the NCAA Tournament for a 22nd-straight season and will battle MIAA rival and No. 4 Northwest Missouri State in the first round of the Central Regional on Thursday, December 2nd, in Warrensburg, Mo.

The 64-team NCAA Tournament field -- eight schools from each of D2 II’s eight regions -- was announced Monday night. The complete bracket is available HERE with the complete regional schedule below. The sixth-seeded Lopers (25-6) and third-seeded Bearcats (26-5) will be meeting for the third time this fall. Northwest won in four sets in Kearney on Oct. 1 with the Lopers sweeping the ‘Cats in Maryville on Oct. 30.

UNK leads the all-time series between the two, 23-3. First serve time is TBA. The UNK/NW winner takes on either St. Cloud State or nine-time national champion Concordia-St. Paul. The eight region winners advance to the Elite Eight, held this year December 9-11 in Tampa. UNK is 32-24 all-time in the NCAA’s, advancing to the Elite Eight in 2019, 2005, 2004, 2003, 1996 and 1995. The Lopers were National Runners Up in 2019 and 2005.

Finally, the 22-year NCAA run trails only the University of Tampa as the Spartans have made the “Big Dance” the past 25 years. The Central Region is far and away the best in the country as it features top-ranked Central Missouri and nine other nationally-ranked teams. The Top 25 teams left out of the regional this year are Wayne State (No. 14), Southwest Minnesota State (No. 17) and Oklahoma Baptist (No. 25).

Below are the seeds for the regional, along with national rankings as of Nov. 22, and record to date.

Seed National Rank/School/Record … Bid

1 #1 Central Missouri (28-3) …. Automatic bid from the MIAA

2 #7 St. Cloud State (27-4) …. Automatic bid from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference

3 #4 Northwest Missouri State (26-5) At-Large

4 #10 Winona State (28-4) …. At-Large

5 #7 Washburn (26-5) … At-Large

6 #12 UNK (25-6) …. At-Large

7 #15 Concordia-St. Paul (22-8) …. At-Large

8 Arkansas Tech (22-7) … Automatic bid from the Great American Conference

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