Truman State Volleyball headed to the NCAA tournament

The Truman volleyball team earned an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA tournament on Sunday night, qualifying as the No. 7 seed in the Central region and setting up a first-round match with Southwest Minnesota State on the campus of top-seeded Concordia-St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Bulldogs, who enter the tournament with a 27-6 overall record, will face the second-seeded Mustangs on either Thursday, Nov. 29 or Friday, Nov. 30, with official match times and dates to be released on Monday.

Truman is one of four MIAA teams to qualify for the national tournament, joined by the No. 3 seed Nebraska-Kearney, No. 4 Central Missouri and No. 6 Washburn. Four Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference members round out the eight-team regional, led by top-seeded and five-time defending national champion Concordia, Southwest Minnesota, No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth and No. 8 Wayne (Neb.) State.

The Bulldogs and Mustangs have only faced each other once previously, with SMSU earning a 3-1 win on Sept. 13, 2008 â?? also on the Concordia-St. Paul campus.

The other first-round matchups include No. 1 Concordia vs. No. 8 Wayne State; No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney vs. No. 6 Washburn, and No. 4 Central Missouri vs. No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth.

The Bulldogs will be making the 13th postseason appearance in program history, having reached the Elite Eight five times and advancing to the national championship match both in 2002 and 2004.

Truman will be playing in the national tournament for the third time in four seasons under head coach Ben Briney.

The 64-team national tournament, broken down into eight, 8-team regions kicks off the final weekend of November across the country.

Full coverage of Trumanâ??s preparations for the regional as well as the regional itself can be found at or on Twitter at

Courtesy Truman State University