HOUSTON -- The Rice Owls volleyball team will get to continue their 2017 season after earning a spot in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC), the organization announced late Sunday (11/26/17) night.
Rice meets longtime foe Texas State on Thursday (11/30/17) at 6:30 pm on the road in San Marcos, Texas. The winner would then play the winner of the SMU/Texas Tech match on Friday night in San Marcos.
"We are excited for the opportunity to continue our season and compete for this championship," Rice head coach Genny Volpe said "The revival of this tournament allows for teams on the bubble to extend our season and build some momentum going into next year. It's a quality event that we are proud to be a part of and look forward to representing Rice well."
The NIVC was held for seven seasons (1989-95) as a 20-team event, but will now consist of 32 teams, with matches in Rounds 1 and 2 held back-to-back at eight of the participating schools. The event consists of five total rounds and will bed play through the championship game (Dec. 12), which will be hosted at one of two remaining schools and broadcast on ESPN3.
The NIVC features 15 automatic qualifiers, whose teams had the best conference finishes that were not selected for the NCAA Tournament. The committee selected the remainder of the field based on court performance throughout the season.
Rice enters the tournament with a 21-8 overall record and will be competing in the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Owls also played in the NIVC in 1995 (1-3 record) when Volpe was an assistant coach for Rice.