THE HOME TEAM: Volleyball to host Freed-Hardeman in Opening Round

The Indiana University East volleyball team will host Freed-Hardeman University at a NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round match.

The match will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 19, at the Richmond High School Tiernan Center. The Lions are 27-8 and ranked 25th in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches Top 25 Poll.

The Red Wolves are 37-8 and ranked 28th in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches Top 25 Poll.

It’s IU East’s first opportunity to host an NAIA national competition.

“First round of the national championship, and it’s in our backyard!” said IU East coach Charlie Brown. “How could you draw it up any better than than? It’s an amazing opportunity, one that we will certainly try to work to our advantage.

“We don’t have to travel, and anyone and everyone can come to what we hope to be history in the making.”

The winner of the Opening Round match advances to the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena in Sioux City, Iowa, location of the NAIA National Championship presented by CNOS Foundation November 29 to December 3. The top 12 teams in the 36-team national tournament field advance directly to Sioux City. The winners of the Opening Round matches will complete the 24-team field in Sioux City.

IU East is making its third consecutive appearance in the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round. The Red Wolves qualified for the national tournament by winning the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament November 11-12. The Red Wolves seek their first win in an Opening Round match.

Freed-Hardeman won the TranSouth Athletic Conference Tournament champion to earn its NAIA Volleyball National Championship bid. The Lions also are 0-2 in Opening Round matches.

“Freed is a solid and very worthy opponent, and we will certainly have to bring our ‘A’ game to advance, but I certainly like our chances,” Brown said.

General admission for the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round match has been set at $5. All students – elementary through college – will be admitted free. IU East faculty and staff will be admitted free with their Wolf Card.