Snow or shine the NAIA Volleyball Tournament begins Tuesday at the Tyson Events Center. 24 teams from around the country will take the courts in search of a national championship, including two from Siouxland.
Briar Cliff has qualified for the tournament in each of head coach Trevor Schirman's three seasons at the helm. Two years ago, the Chargers made school history, winning their first ever game at the tournament.
This year, despite a schedule featuring the numbers one, eleven, and fourteen teams in the country, the Chargers are optimistic heading into pool play.
"This is kind of a hope and dream for everyone to come to the national tournament," said junior Katelin Langel. "So you know, making it this year again, is just a privilege for us and it gives us hopefully a way to send the seniors out on a good note. And I know that being in the GPAC Conference will help us out a little bit with the competition."
"It's always a goal of ours to make it to this tournament, representing Sioux City, and being a part of an incredibly strong GPAC this year," said Schirman. "We're excited, the girls are excited, we drew a tough pool again, like every year, but we'll give it our best shot."
"As a senior I'm really just excited to go back on the court and be in this good atmosphere," said Breanna Nogelmeier. "Everyone is so excited to be here at the national tournament. It just reminds you of why you love volleyball in the first place and I'm really just excited to end my career on this note."
BCU takes on top-ranked Lindsey Wilson Tuesday at 5:45 PM.
After a one-year absence, Dordt is back at the final site of the national tournament for the tenth time in school history.
Despite a 23-5 mark after the GPAC Tournament, the Defenders had to play their way to Sioux City, beating Mount Mercy in the opening round.
Between that game and a regular season schedule that saw Dordt claim the GPAC crown, the Defenders are battle-tested and ready for the challenge this week.
"We've had extremely talented teams in our conference and it's a huge compliment to us to be here and be able to win the conference and we just come in with a lot of confidence," said senior Jenna Horstman.
"We feel very very good coming into this tournament," said Dordt coach Chad Hanson. "We're in a very challenging pool. We hope that the teams are looking at us in the pool and saying it's also a challenging pool because Dordt's there. But we know that the work we've done over the last several weeks and really the body of work through our season, we feel confident that it's prepared us for this moment."
The Defenders open pool play at 8:30 Tuesday night against Georgetown.
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