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Raiders To Host Hawks In NAIA Opening RoundSalem-News.com Sports
(Ashland, Oregon) - For the second straight year, the Southern Oregon volleyball team will play host to an NAIA National Championship Opening Round match.
The Raiders (22-3) will host Holy Names (16-10) Saturday at McNeal Pavilion. The match is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. The time will be confirmed on Monday.
The NAIA National Championships feature 36 teams. The top 11 teams and host school Briar Cliff (Iowa) receive a bye in the opening round. The next 24 teams will all play Opening Round matches on Saturday. The winners of the 12 Opening Round matches will join the top 12 teams in the pool play at the NAIA National Championships in Sioux City, Iowa Nov. 30-Dec. 2. The top two teams from each pool will advance to a single-elimination bracket starting Dec. 3.
SOU, both the Cascade Conference regular season co-champion and Cascade Conference postseason tournament champion, earned an automatic bid by winning the conference tournament. Holy Names also earned an automatic bid by winning the California Pacific Conference tournament.
The Raiders, ranked 14th in the final NAIA Top 25 poll, face the Hawks in the season-opening match at McNeal Pavilion. SOU won that match 25-20, 25-17, 25-19.
Other Opening Round matches include Union (Ky.) at Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Malone (Ohio) at Indiana Tech, Trinity Christian (Ill.) at Doane (Neb.), St. Thomas-Houston (Texas) at College of Idaho, St. Ambrose (Iowa) at Dordt (Iowa), Dillard (La.) at Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), Jamestown (N.D.) at Rocky Mountain (Mont.), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) at Lindenwood (Mo.), St. Xavier (Ill.) at Bellevue (Neb.), Oklahoma City at Friends (Kan.) and Indiana East at Shawnee State (Ohio).
This marks the sixth time SOU has made the NAIA National Tournament. SOU hosted Lewis-Clark State in the Opening Round match last year and fell in five sets.
Southern Oregon won the Cascade Conference Postseason Tournament title Saturday with a sweep of then 13th-ranked College of Idaho. The Coyotes dropped to 16th in the final poll.
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