For the first time in its program history, Princeton will compete in one of the oldest and most prestigious annual non-conference men’s volleyball tournaments.
The Volleyball Hall of Fame informed Off the Block during the weekend that Princeton, UC Santa Cruz, Concordia and the host school Springfield will be the four-team field for the 2014 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic.
Princeton will open the tournament playing Concordia in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Feb. 22. The winner will advance to the championship match on Feb. 23 and will play the winner of the other semifinal match between Springfield and UC Santa Cruz.
This is one of the first times that all three major college divisions — NCAA Division I-II, NCAA Division III and NAIA — will be represented at the Morgan Classic.
Princeton finished last season reaching EIVA Tournament semifinals for the second consecutive year and received votes in the final national coaches poll. The Tigers also return a majority of their starters, including All-American outside attacker Cody Kessel.
Along with Princeton, two defending national champions will also be featured in this year’s tournament field.
Concordia won the 2013 NAIA national championship and during the regular season had two victories against NCAA Division I-II teams.
Springfield in April repeated as NCAA Division III national champions. In addition, the Pride have reached the championship match of the Morgan Classic the last two years and won the tournament in 2012.
UC Santa Cruz reached the Division III NCAA Tournament last season and is making its second appearance in the last three years at the Morgan Classic.
Beyond the matches, the two-day Morgan Classic in previous years has included features such as a youth volleyball clinic for players and coaches. Springfield as the host school the last three years has also provided live online streaming coverage of all the matches.