2021 NAIA Women's Volleyball Championship Pool Play Preview
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – [Opening Round Results | Pool Play Schedule | Bracket] The 2021 NAIA Women’s Volleyball Championship will open up play at the final site with pool play matches on Tuesday, November 30 in the Tyson Events Center.
- This is the 14th year that the championship has been hosted at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
- There are 24 teams that advanced to the final site. All qualifying teams had to advance to the final site by winning an opening round.
- There were a total of 48 teams that qualified for the championship tournament. Thirty-six of them were automatic qualifiers and 12 captured at-large berths. The automatic berths are determined by regular-season champions or runner-ups, conference tournament title winners or runner-ups, or by conference selection. The remaining at-large bids were determined by a selection committee comprised of coaches and administrators from across the country.
- Three teams advanced to Sioux City in their first championship appearance: Life (Ga.), Ottawa (Ariz.), Oregon Tech
- The champions from the last four years will be competing in the championship field: Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Marian (Ind.) Missouri Baptist and Park (Mo.).
- Eighteen teams that advanced also competed in the 2020 national championship.
- So we meet again (Pool play matches that have happened before)
- Jamestown (N.D.) and Texas Wesleyan faced each other in pool play in 2017.
- Jamestown and Indiana Wesleyan faced each other in pool play in 2014.
- Missouri Baptist and Dordt (Iowa) faced each other in pool play in 2005 and 2017.
- Park and Grand View (Iowa) faced each other in pool play in 2014.
- Marian (Ind.) and Midland (Neb.) faced each other in pool play in 2017.
- Teams to watch
- Jamestown (N.D.) – The Jimmies have been the No. 1 ranked team for the last four Top 25 Polls while holding at No. 2 for the three coaches' polls prior to that. The team is the only team that has an undefeated record. Jamestown currently ranks No. 1 in the nation in kills per set as a team (15.18).
- Viterbo (Wis.) – The V-Hawks advance to the final site with only one loss on their record and a 31 match win streak. The team has been ranked at No. 2 for the last four Top 25 Polls. Viterbo ranks No. 1 in the nation in total kills (1,921) and total assists (1,773) as a team.
- Missouri Baptist – The Spartans return to Sioux City as the defending national champions and have not ranked below No. 4 in the coaches' Top 25 Poll this season. The team has lost only two matches this season and will begin pool play with a 24 match win streak.
- Park (Mo.) - The Pirates have ranked in the Top 5 in all but one of the Coaches’ Top 25 polls this season. The team has only lost two matches and is on a 27 game winning streak entering pool play. Park is the only team remaining in the championship field that has claimed multiple titles.
- Providence – The Argos opened the season at No. 14 in the Top 25 Poll and made their rise to No. 5 in the nation in the final poll of the season. The team has lost only two matches this season and will enter pool play on a 19 game win streak.
- Marian (Ind.) – The 2019 champions opened the season at No. 16 and made their way up to as high as a No. 6 ranking in the Top 25 Poll. The Knights rank No. 1 in the nation in hitting percentage (0.321) and assists per set (14.05) as a team.
- Corban (Ore.) – The Warriors opened the season at No. 15 and rose to as high as No. 5. The team has only lost two matches on the season.
- Players to watch
- Radaisy Valdez of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) – leads the nation with 0.472 attack percentage. Valdez has posted 274 kills on 485 total attempts with only 45 errors.
- Nada Meawad of Park (Mo.) – is second in the nation in kills per set at 4.99. Meawad has totaled 489 kills on the season in 98 sets.
- Miah Garant of Viterbo (Wis.) – is second in the nation in blocks per set at 1.36. Garant has recorded a total of 164 blocks (75 solo) on the season in 121 sets.
- Manuela Vargas of Missouri Baptist – leads the nation in assists per set at 12.24. Vargas has posted 857 assists on the season in 70 sets.
The first two days of the tournament will consist of pool play matches. Pools are made up of three teams each and the teams that have the best record in each pool or win on a tie break scenario advance to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals are the beginning of single elimination bracket play with the winners advancing to the semifinals and then the championship.
The NAIA Network – the association’s official video-streaming home – will broadcast all pool play and quarterfinal matches live at the 2021 NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa. The video platform, powered by Presto, 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 (November 30 – December 1) and a championship package is available at $39.95. CLICK HERE to access the NAIA Network
The semifinals on December 3 and the championship on December 4 will be streamed on ESPN3. Links will be located on the schedule at a closer date.