Hawai’i and Lewis still have a chance to win the NCAA Tournament this session.
The men’s volleyball NCAA selection committee announced Saturday afternoon that the Rainbow Warriors and Flyers received the two at-large bids to the upcoming six-team Division I-II NCAA Tournament in Palo Alto, California.
Both Hawai’i and Lewis join the four automatic qualifiers — Loyola, UC Irvine, Penn State and Pfeiffer — that won their conference championships to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Lewis and UC Irvine earned top two seeds and a bye into the NCAA Tournaments.
Lewis is one of first teams in NCAA Tournament history to make the field back-to-back years as an at-large bid. In addition, it is the third time a non-West Coast team has received an at-large bid.
Both teams narrowly edged out the MIVA champions Loyola for the top two seeds.
Loyola as the No. 3 seed will play the Conference Carolinas champions and No. 6 seed Pfeiffer in the first play-in match on Tuesday. The winner of that match will advance to play the No. 2 seed UC Irvine in the semifinals on Thursday.
The other play-in match will feature the No. 4 seed Hawai’i against the No. 5 seed Penn State.
Hawai’i beat-out Pepperdine final at-large bid. Despite losing to Waves in the conference tournament semifinals, the Rainbow Warriors continued to hold an advantage in the majority of selection committee criteria including head-to-head record and RPI.
The Nittany Lions are vying for their first national title since 2008 and reached NCAA Tournament for a record 17 consecutive season after winning the EIVA Tournament.
This is also the lowest NCAA Tournament lowest Penn State has received in its program history. The NCAA Tournament expanded from a four to six team field last year.
The NCAA Tournament will be played at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto for the first time since 2010. The NCAA finals will also be nationally televised live on ESPNU at 8 p.m. (CST) Saturday.