Cullen’s Column: National Invitational Volleyball Championships

For fans who enjoyed California Baptist University volleyball’s 20-10 season and fourth-place conference finish, an encore is in store with the Lancers’ trip to the National Invitational Volleyball Championships.

After sitting out the Western Athletic Conference tournament because of their transition to NCAA Division I, the Lancers earned a berth in the NIVC. The national tournament features 32 of the nation’s best volleyball teams who missed the NCAA Tournament.

CBU volleyball fans have grown accustomed to the excitement of postseason runs, coming off two straight trips to the NCAA DII West Regional Tournament.

This year, the Lancers are yet again gearing up for the thrill of single-elimination.

CBU fans, who closely followed Lancer teams on their journeys to NCAA championship games, regional finals and conference championships in previous seasons, will likely jump on board with volleyball’s newest adventure.

CBU will take on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in a first-round matchup hosted by Tulane University in New Orleans. The participating schools host the entire tournament, culminating in a live-streamed championship game.

After making waves in the conference during regular-season play, the Lancers have a chance to flex their muscles nationally.

The NIVC is in its second year as a reimagining of the old Women’s Invitational Volleyball Championships.

Power Five school University of Mississippi won the inaugural championship in 2017, with a win over Texas Tech University in the championship match. This year’s edition is chock-full of big-name volleyball programs yet again.

The tournament field also features a chance for CBU to show up West Coast programs, such as the University of California, Irvine, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Fresno State University. In addition, CBU is staring across the bracket at WAC opponent Utah Valley University.

This marks the first time a Lancer squad has qualified for a DI national postseason tournament, giving a fan base yet another reason to be excited in year one of  DI.

About Cullen Holt

Asst. Sports Editor

Leave a Reply