Orediggers begin play at NAIA Volleyball National Championship
The following is a press release from the Montana Tech Athletic Department:
SIOUX CITY, Iowa- The 44th annual Volleyball National Championship gets underway today at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. This is the 16th year the championship has been hosted in Sioux City.
The Orediggers of Montana Tech are one of 24 teams that advanced to the final site. The 24 teams are broken out into eight pools, consisting of three teams each. Each team will play the other two teams in their pool, and the winner of each pool will advance to the round of eight.
Making their fifth appearance at the final site, under head coach Brian Solomon, the Orediggers enter the tournament as the 14 seed. They are in Pool C with No. 22 Valley City State (N.D.), and No. 3 Eastern Oregon University.
The Vikings of Valley City State play in the North Star Athletic Conference, where they finished with an 8-4 record in conference, and 25-9 overall. In the first round of the tournament, they went on the road at took down Central Methodist 3-1, to advance to Sioux City. The Orediggers and Vikings never met during the regular season.
The Mountaineers of Eastern Oregon University were one of three teams that started the season in the Top 5 of the Coaches’ Top 25 and finished there as well. They enter the tournament after winning both the Cascade Conference regular season and the Conference tournament. The Mounties went 31-1 on the year, and 21-1 in conference. (Their only blemish was a 3-2 loss at Northwest University)
Eastern Oregon and Montana Tech never during the 2023 regular season, but The Mountaineers did start their season in Butte at the Big Sky Challenge going 4-0, with wins over #18 College of Saint Mary, Arizona Christian, #10 SAGU, and MSU Northern. The Orediggers and Mountaineers have met at the National Tournament one other time, that coming in 2016 in Pool Play.
Montana Tech will open tournament play Thursday at 12 PM (MST) against Valley City State, and then they will battle Eastern Oregon University at 12 PM (MST) on Friday. The winner of the Pool will advance to the Quarterfinals, with the Bracket Play games on Sunday.
A look at the eight Pools can be seen HERE.
You can also view the Oredigger Tournament Notes HERE.