On the heels of an abbreviated spring schedule, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) volleyball programs are back on the court for an anticipated full slate of matches this fall.
Despite not having a conference season in 2020-21, MIAC teams participated in more than three dozen contests in March and April of 2021; however, September marks the conference’s return to the traditional fall regular season format for the first time in nearly two full years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also marks the first change in membership for the league since the 1985 campaign, as the University of St. Thomas departed the MIAC for NCAA Division I in July and the conference welcomed The College of St. Scholastica to the fold as its 13th member.
Non-conference action officially gets underway on Wednesday, September 1, with several teams moving into tournament play on opening weekend. The first conference matches since November of 2019 are set to be played on September 15 and will continue on select Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through the end of October. Teams are scheduled to play eleven conference matches during the regular season.
The top six teams in the conference standings at the end of the regular season will move on to the conference playoffs. The 2021 MIAC Volleyball Playoffs will begin with two quarterfinal contests on Wednesday, November 3, followed by a pair of semifinal matches on Friday, November 5. The 2021 MIAC Volleyball Playoff Championship is set for Saturday, November 6, with the winner securing the conference’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. The 2021 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship is scheduled for December 18-20, 2021 at Francis Fieldhouse in St. Louis, Mo.
Throughout the 2021 season, the MIAC will honor outstanding individual performances each week with the announcement of the volleyball Athletes of the Week. Weekly selections will begin on Tuesday, September 7 and continue on each subsequent Monday through the end of the regular season.
As health and safety guidelines are likely to remain in place for some time, fans are encouraged to review the MIAC COVID-19 Competition Plan and refer to each campus’ protocols prior to attending events this fall.
LAST TIME OUT
2019 Regular Season Champion(s): St. Thomas
2019 Playoff Champion: St. Thomas
2019 MIAC Playoff Berths: St. Thomas, St. Olaf, Saint Benedict, Augsburg, Gustavus, Bethel
2019 NCAA Tournament Berths: St. Thomas, St. Olaf, Saint Benedict, Augsburg
2019 Player of the Year: Hunter Weiss | RS | Saint Benedict
2019 Defensive Player of the Year: Ellie Meyer | DS | St. Thomas
2019 Coach of the Year: Thanh Pham | St. Thomas
AVCA Rankings: No. 18 Saint Benedict, RV St. Olaf, RV Augsburg, RV Gustavus, RV Bethel
First Non-Conference Date: Wednesday, September 1
First Conference Match Date: Wednesday, September 15
Playoff Dates: November 3 (QF), November 5 (SF), November 6 (Championship)
(info courtesy of MIAC)