KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rocky Mountain College and the University of Providence learned on Sunday what pools they will be playing in at the NAIA Volleyball National Championship beginning April 27.
Both the Battlin' Bears (18-4) and Argos (21-2) won opening-round matches in Billings and Great Falls, respectively, on Saturday. Overall, 24 teams advanced to the next level in Sioux City, Iowa.
The 41st Volleyball National Championship tourney will run April 27-May 1 at the Tyson Events Center. It was the first time in the history of the NAIA tourney that all of the teams competed in the opening round at campus sites before advancement to the final site.
The 24 teams playing in Sioux City will be divided into eight pools of three. The top team out of each pool moves on to the single-elimination bracket beginning April 29.
Rocky, which downed Bushnell (Oregon) 26-24, 25-21, 25-15 Saturday at the Fortin Center, is in Pool D with Indiana Wesleyan and Midland (Nebraska). The Bears will play Indiana Wesleyan (20-2) at 9:30 a.m. and Midland (12-9) at 4 p.m. on April 27.
Providence, which has won 19 straight matches, toppled Olivet Nazarene (Illinois) 25-21, 25-12 and 25-20 Saturday at the McLaughlin Center to advance to the final site. The Argos are in Pool A, along with Jamestown (North Dakota) and Viterbo (Wisconsin).
On April 27, UP is matched with Viterbo (14-7) at 2 p.m. and on April 28 the Argos will take on Jamestown at 9:30 a.m. Jamestown (27-1) is the overall top seed in the tournament.
"When you get down to the final 24 teams I don't know if there is a good draw in the bunch," UP coach Arunas Duda said in a school press release. "We have two matches in pool play that I think could go the distance. We're at the point where we're playing really good volleyball. I'm pretty excited with where we are. We're going to Iowa. I'm excited to see how we match up with the rest of the country."