NDSU invited to NVIC tourney
It was not all joy and cheer for the North Dakota State University volleyball team in the Summit League Championship Tournament in Omaha, NE.
After sweeping the University of North Dakota, 3-0, in a strong opening-round performance on Nov. 24, the Bison could not muster enough points to defeat the University of Omaha. The Mavericks defeated the Herd, 3-1, in semifinal play eliminating NDSU from the tournament.
Quarter-final vs North Dakota –
In the UND match, NDSU took the first set, 25-20. The Fighting Hawks tied up the set at 20-20, but NDSU took over with five straight points. Sophomore Alexis Boling closed out the set with a kill.
The second set was a dogfight with seven lead changes throughout. The Herd clawed back with a three-point run to win the set, 25-22. NDSU played ferociously in the third set. The Bison had two four-point runs in the 25-17 win. The win closed out the match with a 3-0 sweep.
Senior Kelley Johnson garnered 27 assists and three aces in the match. The sophomore, Logan O’Brien, had 11 digs and three aces. Junior Ali Hinze led the team with ten kills and three blocks. Michelle Glover, a senior, tallied four blocks and eight kills.
Semi-final vs Omaha –
The Bison suffered heartbreak in their Friday, Nov. 25 match against Omaha. The Herd started the first set in dominant fashion with 12 kills and only five errors. NDSU never let the Mavericks get close to their lead; the Bison won, 25-16.
The dominance was short-lived, NDSU would drop the second set, 19-25, ailed by nine errors. NDSU was again bested in the third set, 25-18. The Bison used all their cards in the fourth set with 12 tie scores and six lead changes. The Bison retook the lead late in the set at, 25-24, but a three-point run from the Mavericks ended the Bison’s late surge. Omaha took the set, 27-25, and the match, 3-1.
Hinze led the team in kills with 14. Glover accumulated 13 kills and seven Blocks. Johnson was a team player, she contributed 41 assists and 13 digs. O’Brien had 18 digs in the match.
On to the NVIC –
Despite the loss, NDSU will continue its postseason campaign in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). The single-elimination tournament will host 32 teams from across the country. Omaha and South Dakota State, co-members of the Summit League along with the Bison, were also selected to participate in the tournament.
The teams participating in the NIVC tournament were not selected for the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball Tournament. South Dakota, the Summit League Champion, is the only Summit League team participating in the NCAA tournament. The Coyotes play 5th-ranked Houston at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 2nd in Omaha, Neb.
In an interview on the NVIC website, Jared Rudinger, the NVIC director said, “the depth of talent in D-1 volleyball continues to amaze, and we are proud to be a forum for all these teams that have earned respect and that crave a postseason championship chase.”
The Bison travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. for a Friday, Dec. 2 NIVC matchup at 2 p.m. against Davidson. If NDSU wins the match, they will play the winner of the Coppin State and Wake Forest match at 3 p.m. on Dec. 3rd.