FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Nov. 21, 2017) – The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team was one of 15 teams that received and accepted an automatic berth into the 2017 National Volleyball Invitational Championship (NIVC), announced on Tuesday. The complete 32-team field will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 26 around 8 p.m. MT following the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.
“After a nearly 22-year hiatus, we are excited to announce the first 15 schools that have received and accepted an automatic berth into the 2017 event,” said NIVC director Sean Hardy. “We are still waiting on a few other AQ’s from several conferences, but we are excited to see the 32-team field getting closer and closer to reality.”
The 2017 tournament will consist of 32 teams with participating schools hosting all matches. A team is offered an automatic berth by the NIVC when it’s the highest-finishing team in its conference regular-season standings, and is not selected for the NCAA Tournament. Should a conference’s automatic qualifier team decline the NIVC invitation, then the conference forfeits its AQ spot and that berth goes into the at-large pool.
Eight participating schools will each host four schools in Rounds 1 and 2 slated for Nov. 28-30. Round 3 will take place Dec. 1-3, Semifinals (Dec. 4-9), and Championship on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. ET, to be streamed live on ESPN3. For more information on the NIVC visit www.womensnivc.com.
The 15 teams that accepted automatic berths for the NIVC were: Albany (America East), SMU (American), Sacramento State (Big Sky), College of Charleston (Colonial), North Texas (C-USA), Bowling Green (MAC), Maryland East Shore (MEAC), Wyoming (MW), Bryant (Northeast), SIUE (Ohio Valley), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Oral Roberts (Summit), Texas State, (Sun Belt), Alabama A&M (SWAC) and Pacific (West Coast).
The 2017 NIVC will mark the first time since 1994, that UW will take part in postseason play. The Brown and Gold finished second in the Mountain West and will move onto postseason with an overall record of 17-13 and a 12-6 mark in conference. The 12 wins in league play tie for second-most in a single season for Cowgirl volleyball. Additionally, six of this year’s 12 MW wins came on the road. The six conference road wins also mark a new high for Wyoming as a member of the MW.
UW has competed in postseason play four times in its programs history. Wyoming is 2-4 all-time in the NCAA tournament, with wins against Stanford and UCLA during the historical 1989 season that ended in the Sweet 16. Wyoming lost to Penn State in its first appearance in the tournament in 1986, before falling in the first round to Stanford in 1990 and Washington in 1994.