Volleyball receives at-large bid to NCAA Championship

photo by Jimmy Mitchell
photo by Jimmy Mitchell

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern volleyball team will make its first trip to the NCAA post-season this weekend, traveling to face No. 20 Chicago in NCAA Regional action in Rome, Ga.

The Panthers learned this morning that they will play as the fourth seed in the regional, hosted by third-seeded Berry College, facing fifth-seeded and 20th-ranked University of Chicago this Friday, Nov. 13. Match times will be announced later today. It will be the first NCAA tournament appearance by BSC since the program's inception in 1998.

"I am so incredibly proud of this team," Head Coach Jeff White said. "This is a testament to all the hard work they have put in this season, and they definitely deserve this recognition. We are looking forward to making history this weekend!"

BSC, who is ranked fifth in the NCAA South regional rankings, stands at 24-5 after losing to Hendrix, the second seed in the regional, in the title match of the Southern Athletic Association Championship on Sunday. The Panthers have faced four teams competing in the regional bracket, going 2-1 against third-seeded Berry, 1-0 against seventh-seeded Covenant, 0-1 against top-seeded No. 2 Emory, and 0-3 against Hendrix.

Freshman Jeneva Salter, who was voted SAA Newcomer of the Year, leads the conference and is ranked 28th in the nation in kills per set (4.15). Senior setter Katie McCormack, a First-Team All-Conference honoree, leads the league and is also ranked 28th in the nation in assists per set (10.33).

The University of Chicago (20-12) is ranked seventh in the Midwest region and 20th in the nation, and will make its sixth straight and sixth overall trip to the NCAA tournament. The Maroons reached 20 wins for the seventh year in a row, led by senior outside hitter Maren Loe, who was an Honorable Mention All-American last season. She currently ranks seventh in the NCAA in kills per set (4.53) and sixth in total kills (544).

To view the complete bracket for all eight regionals, click here.