By: Aubrie Laufenberg
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –The Summit League officials announced the 2018 Summit League Volleyball Championship bracket on Sunday, with Denver earning the No. 1 seed after clinching the Summit League regular season championship Friday, Nov. 2.
This is the fifth-consecutive season that the Pioneers have won at least a share of The Summit League regular season championship and enter the championship as the No. 1 seed. The preseason favorite Pioneers finished the regular season undefeated and recorded the best league winning percentage (1.000) since they joined The Summit League.
Being the No. 1 seed, host Denver received a first-round bye and won't take the court until 3 p.m. MT Saturday, Nov. 17, to face the winner of the No. 4 Purdue Fort Wayne (17-13, 8-8) and No. 5 North Dakota (14-17, 6-9) match. The Mastodons and the Fighting Hawks start off the championship tournament Friday, Nov. 16, at 3 p.m. MT. The Mastodons are making their third-straight league tournament appearance with two championship titles, the last being 2012. UND will be making its first appearance at The Summit League Volleyball Championship.
Joining Denver with a first-round bye is No. 2 seed South Dakota. The Coyote will make their first appearance at the tournament Saturday for the 6 p.m. MT match. The last time South Dakota was the No. 2 seed was 2016 during its most successful year since joining The Summit League. USD took home its first Summit League regular season title in 2016 and advanced to its first championship match.
USD will play the winner of the No. 3 Omaha (17-11, 12-4) and No. 6 North Dakota State (8-19, 6-10) match that takes place Friday at 6 p.m. MT. The Mavericks are making their third-ever appearance in the championship, while the Bison are making their fifth-straight appearance and 11th overall.
The winners of Saturday's matches will play in Sunday's championship match at 2 p.m. MT with the champion earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
For all The Summit League Volleyball Championship information, visit the official championship website at thesummitleague.org/championships and follow the championship Twitter feed @summitchamps.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.