Second pool match at 3 p.m.
The women’s volleyball team lost their first game today at the NCCAA Division II National Championship Tournament.
The 12-18 Rams played their regional rivals, 17-4 Providence University College, and the scores for the sets were 25-23, 25-22, and 25-17 in Providence’s favor.
After a loss to this very same team in the NCCAA North Central Region Championship game put them out of the running for the national tournament, head coach Stephanie Schmidt put a bid into the pool for the tournament in Kissimmee, Florida from November 12 to 14. This is their first time at the tournament since 2007.
“When we lost against Providence, we were very devastated,” said junior setter and captain Elissa Pheneger, who recently reached 2000 career assists in October. “We hoped that we would get the bid.”
Six regions comprised of 36 teams are included in the NCCAA Division II, and there are 10 slots open in the tournament. After each region is won by their respective teams, four slots are open for “at large” bids. Based on the performance of the team this season, the committee of the NCCAA granted the Rams one of the “at-large” bids, and they are in the tournament as the 10th seed. The two top seeds in this tournament are Maranatha Baptist University from Watertown, Wisconsin, and Providence University College from Otterburne, Canada.
The 10th seed is the lowest seed, and they are playing two matches in group B today. One was a loss against Providence, and the second one is a 3 p.m. (4 p.m. EST) match against the seventh seed Arlington Baptist College from Arlington, Texas.
The Rams’ best finish in the tournament was a second place finish against Clearwater Christian University back in 2000.
“They’ve gotten better and better every year. I feel really good,” Schmidt said. When Schmidt came on board in 2012, the Rams had a season record of 2-25. Their records have shown marked improvement since then: in 2013, they were 6-28, and then in 2014, 7-21.