Currently sitting at 9th in the country for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Vanguard University’s volleyball team received an automatic bid to the national tournament.
Finishing 3rd in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and receiving an NAIA At-Large qualification of No. 3 for nationals, Lions volleyball received an Opening Round bye. Receiving the automatic bid lifts the burden of an Opening Round match and allows the Lions to spend the next couple of weeks preparing for nationals. The NAIA national tournament will be held in Sioux City, Iowa from Dec. 3-7.
The Lions finished regular season play with a 22-6 record. A major highlight of the season came when the Lions beat the No. 2-ranked Concordia Eagles, giving the Eagles their first GSAC loss since 2008. “I think our team has done an incredible job pushing through and competing through this long and tough GSAC season,” Lions volleyball coach Eryn Leja said.
Speaking of her team and the road ahead, Leja said: “It will definitely be a grind for them to get through the next week and a half, preparing to compete for a national title, but the heartbeat of this team has grown stronger with each match, and I feel we will have a successful post-season.”
To read more about the national championship qualifiers, click here.