Women’s Volleyball Earns Bid to NAIA Nationals

MBU set to host opening round this Saturday.

Missouri Baptist women’s volleyball players, coaches and fans waited with nervous anticipation of the NAIA’s announcement of National Championship Tournament Qualifiers. On Sunday at 4:00 p.m. CST, that uneasy feeling quickly ended as the Spartans were announced as one of the final teams to receive an at-large bid to the 2012 Tachikara-NAIA National Championship Opening Round.

It has been a record-breaking season for the young Spartans, setting an MBU record with a 22-0 record to begin the year. Over the course of the year, Missouri Baptist was bested just three times, all-three coming against conference opponents Columbia College and Park University.

The Spartans’ season was truly special, amassing 33 wins with five new starters this season. The team lost its first game on Oct. 10 against the Columbia College Cougars, but earned its first victory over a ranked opponent just days later. The team beat the then, No. 12-ranked Grand View University in the inaugural Spartan Invitational, boosting its national standing.

While the team looked poised for an easy entrance into the National Championships, a team who has given the Spartans fits for the last two seasons nearly ended the run abruptly in the American Midwest Conference Semifinals. Park University handed MBU its third loss of the season on Thursday, causing the season to immediately be in jeopardy and nearly ended the Missouri Baptist playoff run before it began.

After Park lost in the AMC Championship game to Columbia College on Saturday, a win would have guaranteed the Pirates a berth in the Opening Round. Instead, both Park and Missouri Baptist were left waiting as both were on the bubble. Though the AMC nearly had three teams in the championship picture, MBU ended-up as one of the last four in and Park was left as one of the last four out.

The NAIA will release the Opening Round pairings on Monday at noon. All Opening Round matches will take place on November 17 at various sites throughout the country.

Missouri Baptist University is a Christ-centered university located in Saint Louis. MBU offers more than 40 undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees in education, business and religion and its new terminal degree, the Doctor of Education. In addition to its 66-acre West St. Louis County campus, MBU offers degree programs at 10 regional learning centers throughout Saint Louis, in Southern Illinois and online. For more information, go to www.mobap.edu or call 1-877-434-1115.