VOLLEYBALL OPENS PLAY AT THE NIVC ON TUESDAY AGAINST UC IRVINE

VOLLEYBALL OPENS PLAY AT THE NIVC ON TUESDAY AGAINST UC IRVINE

More information on the NIVC

Tournament brackets (pdf)

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State has qualified for the postseason as the team will play in the return of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) this Tuesday against UC Irvine in the first round of the 32-team tournament. One of the four-team regionals, which will be played at the Spanos Center in Stockton, features Sacramento State, host Pacific, UC Irvine and Boise State.

The Hornets open the postseason event on Tuesday against UC Irvine at 4:30 p.m. Boise State and Pacific will play each other in the second matchup on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. The winners of those two games will play in the second round at the Spanos Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. This marks Sacramento State's first postseason appearance since qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2007.

The NIVC, which is the equivalent to the basketball NIT, offers bids to teams that do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The NIVC was originally played from 1989-95, and is making its return this season. Sacramento State received an automatic berth into the tournament after winning the Big Sky Conference regular season championship. The Hornets' bid to qualify for the NCAA Tournament ended with a 3-2 loss to North Dakota in the Big Sky Tournament championship match last week at the Nest.

The NIVC will be an annual tournament with all games, including the semifinals and championship, being hosted by participating schools. Every round is single elimination. The tournament features 16 first-round games, followed by eight second-round games, four third-round games, two semifinal games, and the championship. The championship game will be webcast on Dec. 12 on ESPN3. The event offers 32 automatic berths, which includes one to each established conference.

Sacramento State will enter the tournament with a 26-9 overall record, and the Hornets had their seven-game winning streak snapped in the Big Sky Tournament loss to North Dakota. The Hornets went 15-1 in league to win the Big Sky's regular season title and host the conference's postseason event. Pacific has won four straight and currently owns a 16-13 overall record and 11-7 mark in the West Coast Conference. Boise State has also won its last four games and is currently 17-13 overall and 10-8 in the Mountain West Conference, and UC Irvine is 22-7 overall and 10-6 in the Big West Conference.

Sacramento State has not played UC Irvine since 1996, and the Hornets are 3-0 all-time against the Anteaters. That includes wins in 1992, 1995 and 1996, all on neutral floors. The Hornets played both Pacific and Boise State during the regular season, which includes a 3-1 loss to Pacific (25-14, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15) in the home opener back on Aug. 30. That was one of just two losses the Hornets suffered at home all season. Sacramento State fell on the road at Boise State in an absolute slug fest of a five-set match that saw the Hornets lose, 18-16, in the fifth.

Sacramento State will be making its fourth appearance at the NIVC, previously playing in the tournament in 1992, 1993 and 1995. The Hornets went 5-1 at the 1995 event, falling to eventual champion Wisconsin in five sets (15-13 in the 5th)

The Hornets received a number of conference awards, including senior setter Kennedy Kurtz being named the Big Sky's MVP. as well as outside hitters Shannon Boyle and Mikaela Nocetti joining Kurtz as first team all-conference selections. Middle blocker Lana Brown was named second team all-conference and head coach Ruben Volta was named the Big Sky's Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons.

Tickets are now available. To reserve tickets, please click here.

Section I Reserved Seating: $10

General Admission:

Adults $8
Senior (Ages 62+) $6
Child (Ages 5-12) $4
Facult/Staff (limit 4) $4


Tuesday, November 28  
Game 1: Sacramento State vs. UC Irvine; 4:30 pm
Game 2: Boise State at Pacific; 7:00 pm

Wednesday, November 29
7:00 PM – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2