South Dakota and Purdue Fort Wayne set to play in NIVC

South Dakota and Purdue Fort Wayne earn spots in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
South Dakota and Purdue Fort Wayne earn spots in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.

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South Dakota's volleyball team is headed to the postseason for the second straight season.

The Coyotes, regular season champions of the Summit League, received an automatic berth into the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). Despite a 27-2 overall record and an RPI of 38, South Dakota was left out of the NCAA Tournament.
The Coyotes were selected as one of eight hosts for the first two rounds of the 32-team NIVC. Coming to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center are Central Michigan, UNLV and Kansas City.
South Dakota will take its 14-match home-court win streak into Thursday's 7 p.m. contest against Central Michigan, who is 21-8 overall, and finished second in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference.
It will be the first-ever meeting between the Coyotes and the Chippewas.
The other first round match-up at 4:30 p.m. is between UNLV (19-10) and Kansas City (17-11).
The Thursday winners will meet in Friday's second round at 2 p.m. inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

Purdue Fort Wayne women's volleyball was one of the selected teams to earn an at-large bid into the NIVC. This is the Mastodons' first postseason appearance since making the NCAA Tournament in 2012.

Purdue Fort Wayne will play at Bowling Green in the opening round on Thursday, December 5. Miami (OH) and TCU will join the Mastodons and Falcons in the pod in Bowling Green, Ohio.

The NIVC is a single-elimination event with all games played at the host institutions. The tournament committee offers 32 spots to the best teams available in the country's 32 conferences after the NCAA Tournament committee makes its picks. South Dakota and Purdue Fort Wayne will represent the Summit League in the tournament, as the Coyotes earned the automatic, and Purdue Fort Wayne earned an at-large spot.

"I am very excited and appreciative to have been selected to compete in the NIVC," Purdue Fort Wayne head coach Steve Florio said. "This is a special team that certainly deserves to play more postseason volleyball. I'm extremely proud of them for earning this opportunity."

The NIVC dates back to 1989, when the first tournament was held, but was discontinued after 1995. It was then rebooted in 2017. As such, this will be the third edition of the tournament since its revival. Ole Miss won the 2017 tournament, and Iowa State is the reigning champion.

The Mastodons will enter this matchup at 18-14. Bowling Green finished its season at 19-12, falling to Ball State in the MAC tournament championship match.