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DWU volleyball to face Park, Grand View in NAIA tourney pool play

Tigers to play one match each on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

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The Dakota Wesleyan University volleyball team defeated Saint Xavier University (Ill.) 3-1 in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The Dakota Wesleyan University volleyball team learned its NAIA women's volleyball championship pool play foes Sunday afternoon, set to face a pair of fellow Midwestern opponents.

The Tigers will play in the second and third matches in Pool D with Park (Mo.) and Grand View (Iowa). DWU faces Grand View at 5 p.m. on Nov. 30 and then will play Park (Mo.) at 1 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

Park (30-2), of Parkville, Missouri, was the No. 4-ranked team in the final coaches poll and advanced on Saturday, Nov. 20 from the NAIA opening round with a 3-0 win over Midway (Ky.). Grand View (25-13), of Des Moines, Iowa, defeated Dakota State on Saturday in a 3-1 match and was ranked No. 18 in the final poll. Park and Grand View will play the leadoff match in the pool at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, meaning Grand View will play twice on the opening day of competition.

The Tigers, ranked 13th in the final coaches poll of the season, were 3-1 winners over Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Saturday night at the Corn Palace. They have not played either team this season.

The 24-team field is broken into eight, three-team pools, with each team guaranteed two matches each. The pool winners advance to the final eight-team bracket, which begins play on Thursday, Dec. 2.

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In the NAIA's pre-determined bracket principles for pool play, Pool D was set to include the No. 4, No. 13 and No. 21 teams based on the typical seeding procedure.

If DWU advances out of Pool D, it will play a team from Pool E, which includes Providence (Mont.), Life (Ga.) or Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the national quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2. The Tyson Events Center will have three courts, allowing matches to be played simultaneously.

All seven Great Plains Athletic Conference teams advanced out of the opening round and they are split among six pools in Sioux City. College of Saint Mary and Northwestern are sharing a pool with Eastern Oregon.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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