Loper volleyball pushes NCAA streak to 24 straight years
HASTINGS, Neb. (UNK Athletics) - The 13th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team is in the NCAA Tournament for a 24th straight season and will battle seventh-ranked Southwest Minnesota State in the first round of the Central Regional.
The 64-team NCAA Tournament field -- eight schools from each of D2 II’s eight regions -- was announced tonight. The complete bracket is available HERE; region winners advance to the Elite Eight, held this year December 7-9 in Pittsburgh. The Central Regional will be Friday-Sunday (Nov. 30-Dec. 2) in St. Paul, Minn., with Concordia-St. Paul serving as host. NCAA Volleyball Logo
The Lopers (28-5) were ranked sixth in the most recent region rankings and remained so after reaching the MIAA Tourney semis. The SMSU Mustangs (28-6) dropped their regular season finale to Concordia and their NSIC Tournament quarterfinals match to Minnesota-Duluth but kept the third seed.
The Blue & Gold beat Southwest, 3-1, in both the 2010 and 2012 NCAA’s with the ‘Stangs defeating the Lopers, 3-2, in the 2014 tourney. The UNK/SMSU winner takes on Wayne State or UMD.
UNK is 33-26 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 24-year NCAA run trails only the University of Tampa as the Spartans have made the “Big Dance” the past 27 years.
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