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Weber State volleyball to host 2 rounds of NIVC this weekend, faces Bakersfield first

By Brett Hein - | Nov 29, 2021

Photo supplied, Weber State Athletics

Weber State hitter Rylin Adams (1) celebrates a point during the Big Sky tournament championship match against Northern Colorado on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at Swenson Gym in Ogden.

Weber State volleyball will play at least one more match, and maybe a handful more, with its senior all-conference trio of Rylin Adams, Ashlyn Power and Sam Schiess.

The Wildcats accepted a bid to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, known as the NIVC — the secondary postseason tournament for Division I volleyball — and will host a pod of first- and second-round games at Swenson Gym this Friday and Saturday.

Weber State lost a five-set heartbreaker to Northern Colorado in the Big Sky tournament final on Nov. 20, just missing its second straight bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

The NIVC is a 32-team tournament. The tournament tweeted Sunday that Weber State was an automatic qualifier, likely by virtue of WSU’s regular-season Big Sky championship.

All three games of the pod will be held at WSU’s Swenson Gym and stream on ESPN+. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, First Round: Pacific (13-16) vs. Portland State (19-10), 3 p.m.; Weber State (20-9) vs. Cal State Bakersfield (18-10), 6 p.m.

Saturday, Second Round: Friday’s winners, 2 p.m.

The team that emerges from the pod will advance to the quarterfinals, with hosts and dates to be determined.

Weber State first played in the NIVC in 2019 after a five-set loss to Northern Colorado in the Big Sky tournament title game. That year, the Wildcats won a pod hosted by Wyoming by beating Boise State and Wyoming, then lost in the quarterfinals at Tulsa.

The Wildcats beat UNCo in the Big Sky title match the next season, postponed to spring 2021, and then defeated Bowling Green for the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. This will mark the team’s third-straight postseason appearance.

BYU HOSTS NCAA POD

BYU, ranked No. 4 in national polls, was given a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host a first- and second-round pod Friday and Saturday at Smith Fieldhouse, a nearly all-Utah part of the bracket.

Early-round NCAA Tournament games tyipcally stream on ESPN3 through the Watch ESPN app or website though, as of Monday night, official broadcast plans were not yet available. The schedule in Provo is as follows:

Friday, First Round: Utah (21-8) vs. Utah Valley (16-12), 4 p.m.; BYU (28-1) vs. Boise State (24-10), 7 p.m.

Saturday, Second Round: Friday’s winners, 7 p.m.

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