UC Irvine Set For NIVC
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It was announced tonight that UC Irvine (22-7) accepted an invitation to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, which has been revived after its six-year run from 1989-1995.
The Anteaters, who finished third in the Big West, are slated to face Sacramento State for a first-round matchup on Tuesday, November 28 at 4:30 p.m. in Stockton, Calif., with the winner advancing to the second round to battle either host Pacific or Boise State. This marks the first postseason appearance for UC Irvine since 2004, the same year current UCI Head Coach Ashlie Hain was the starting setter for the Anteaters.
The NIVC is a 32-team tournament that features 17 programs with 18 or more wins and five schools that finished first in regular-season conference play (Albany, North Texas, Sacramento State, Stephen F. Austin, and Maryland Eastern Shore). Additionally, six schools in the field are ranked or receiving votes in the latest Volleyball Magazine Mid-Major poll with No. 12 North Texas, No. 16 UC Irvine, No. 20 SMU, No. 23 Sacramento State, No. 24 Rice, and Texas State (RV).
In all, 23 conferences will be represented with both the Big 12 and American featuring three teams each. The Sun Belt, Mountain West, SEC, Horizon, and C-USA will each have two schools competing. The SWAC, America East, MAC, Big South, Patriot, Missouri Valley, Summit, West Coast, Big Sky, Ohio Valley, Southland, ACC, Colonial, Big West, Southern, and MEAC with one.