When the sixteenth annual National Christian College Athletic Association National Volleyball Tournament gets under way Thursday at Cedarville College, one familiar team will be among the 10 teams competing for the 1999 national title.
For the tenth straight season, the Mount Vernon Nazarene College women's volleyball team will be apart of the championship event. The Lady Cougars, who have never finished higher than third in the tournament, will ride a 14-match winning streak into the event as the third seed with a 35-2 overall record. MVNC earned an automatic berth in the tournament by winning the 1999 NCCAA East Region Tournament with victories over Malone College and Geneva (PA) College.
"It is a great privilege to represent MVNC at the national tournament," said head coach Paul Swanson. "This is always a very competitive event with great teams from around the country. Our goal is to be playing on Saturday (in the semifinals) and see what happens from there."
The Lady Cougars will begin pool play on Thursday with a match at 2:00 p.m. against seventh-seeded Bethel (IN) College. The Lady Pilots, who are the defending NCCAA national champions, won the North Central Region title and currently have an 18-12 overall record.
MVNC's other pool play match on Thursday will be at 4:00 p.m. against the sixth-seeded Lady Flames from Lee (TN) University. The Lady Flames are the South Region champions and they have a 20-9 overall record.
On Friday, the Lady Cougars will continue pool play with a match at noon versus MidAmerica Nazarene (KS) University. The Lady Pioneers, who are the tenth seed in the tournament, won the Central Region title and have posted a 17-12 overall record.
MVNC will wrap up pool play with a 4:00 p.m. match on Friday against second-seeded Union (TN) University. The Lady Bulldogs (38-2) are the MidEast Region champions and have won 23 consecutive matches coming into the tournament.
The other pool consists of top-seeded Christian Heritage (CA) College (18-10, West Region champs), fourth-seeded Malone (27-5, East Region runner-up), fifth-seeded Indiana Wesleyan University (28-9, MidWest Region champion), eighth-seeded Olivet Nazarene (IL) University (24-17, North Central Region runner-up), and ninth-seeded Cedarville (23-11, MidWest Region runner-up).
Following the completion of pool play, the top three teams in each pool will advance to the single elimination portion of the tournament, which begins with the quarterfinals at 8:00 p.m. on Friday. The top team in each pool will automatically advance to the semifinal matches that are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The championship match will follow at 2:00 p.m.