Blinn Enters NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship As the No. 1 Seed
Sixteen teams will compete for the national title at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kan., beginning Thursday, Nov. 18.
The Buccaneers (38-1), winners of the Region XIV regular-season and tournament championships, will take their 37-match win streak into a first-round tilt against 16th-seeded Hill College (11-13) at 1 p.m. on Nov. 18.
Though Blinn was ranked second in the final NJCAA poll of the regular season released on Nov. 1, a pair of losses suffered by top-ranked Florida Southwestern State in its conference tournament likely tipped the seeding in the Buccaneers’ favor. Fourth-year Blinn head coach Terry Gamble said being the top seed in the field means very little once matches begin.
“I don’t think it’s an easier path at all,” Gamble said. “I really don’t think any match is easy. I think if we happen to win our first-round match, our second-round match could be really tough. There are 16 teams there that can win it, and there’s no easy route for anybody.”
The Blinn-Hill winner will advance to face the winner of the Iowa Western-Polk State match at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18. Iowa Western is seeded eighth in the bracket after winning the championship last season.
Other matches in the Buccaneers’ half of the bracket include fourth-seeded Florida Southwestern taking on 13th-seeded Monroe and fifth-seeded Missouri State-West Plains battling 12th-seeded Central Wyoming. On the other side of the bracket, second-seeded Butler will face 15th-seeded Wallace State; No. 7 Snow will play No. 10 Northeastern; No. 3 Miami Dade takes on No. 14 Jefferson; and No. 6 New Mexico Military Institute clashes with No. 11 Tyler, the Region XIV Tournament runner-up.
The NJCAA’s bracket reveal is available on YouTube.
“There is going to be some really good volleyball for three days,” Gamble said, “and whoever plays solid volleyball for four matches has a chance to win it.”
Blinn is making its second consecutive trip to the national tournament after the Buccaneers placed fifth at the 2020-21 championship tournament in the spring.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.