FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Tournament officials for the 2017 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) have announced a format change for the event as Selection Day (Nov. 26) draws closer.
The tournament field will consist of 32 teams, with matches in Rounds 1 and 2 held back-to-back on Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at eight of the participating schools. The event will play through the championship game, hosted at one of the two remaining schools and broadcast on ESPN3.
The NIVC was originally played from 1989-1995. With the support of those founders, the current NIVC will feature automatic qualifiers who are the teams with the best conference finishes that were not selected for the NCAA Tournament. The committee will select the remainder of the field based on court performance throughout this season.
“The NIVC opportunity has been bubbling up in conversation with coaches and administrators for years. We had nearly 60 teams send in contracts for this year, and to provide the best experience in 2017 we’ve decided the 32-team format is preferred,” said NIVC director Sean Hardy. “We will learn a lot running the NIVC this year and are excited to make it part of everyone’s volleyball calendar going forward. Some deserving programs are sent home early after conference tournaments are finished, and the NIVC is a great vehicle to showcase them and grow the rest of the sport.”
Much like the WNIT and NIT events in college basketball, the NIVC taps into the impressive depth of D-I volleyball and is designed to give more high-performing, highly skilled programs a chance to play for a postseason title. Teams with young rosters get to train and compete with an eye to the future; established rosters get one more chance to play together and memorably cap off their student-athlete experience.