Inside the Field

Inside the Field

PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Tomorrow, the Sabercats Men's Volleyball Team makes their second appearance at the newly revitalized NCCAA National Invitational.

As the #8 seed, the Sabercats have the tall order of taking on the hosting Trinity Christian College Trolls, as well as #4 Warner University and the defending champions and #1 seed, Ottawa University (Ariz.).

It'll be anything but easy.

Maranatha will play every team in Pool A, and the results of the pool play will determine the matchups for Saturday afternoon's final matches. Only the top team from both pools will have the chance to compete for the national title. The two second-place teams will play in the bronze-medal match, and the 5th- and 7th-place matches will be determined accordingly.

Here's a closer look at Pool A:


#8 Maranatha (0-3)

The Sabercats are the youngest program at the National Invitational, as the team is in just their third year as a varsity program. So far this season, the Sabercats have taken losses against NCAA DIII programs in Marian, Adrian, and North Park, and they have been improving even in that three-match stretch.

Maranatha will rely on their experience at last year's National Invitational, where they finished in 8th place after taking a gritty, four-set loss to Brewton-Parker College, who will not compete in this year's tournament.

#5 Trinity Christian (1-0)

The hosts can't be overlooked, as they are a not-so-dark horse entering this tournament. The only kicker with the Trolls is that they have only played one match this season, as they took a 3-2 win over Goshen.

Trinity took 4th place at last year's National Invitational, so they will be looking to get the results they felt they deserved in 2019. TCC will look to three underclassmen that all measure up to 6'7" at the shortest, so their height will be a factor as they defend their home court.

#4 Warner (0-1)

The Royals have also only played one match coming into the tournament. Warner was not at last year's invitational, so they will look to make a solid impression in the 2020 edition.

The Royals finished last season with a 6-7 record after a hot 3-1 start in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA. Warner is used to playing polished programs, so they are a school to keep an eye on at the 2020 Invitational

#1 Ottawa (2-0)

The Spirit is easily the favorite team to win the 2020 tournament, as they enter the tournament as defending champs. In last year's final, the Spirit swept the #1-seeded Campbellsville University Tigers to earn the gold medal.

Ottawa has opened the 2020 season with wins over Gilbert Park and Arizona Christian, so they look as sharp as ever coming into the National Invitational. 


Pool A at a glance:

Seed                           Mascot   Location        Record    Last Year 
#1 Ottawa Spirit Surprise, Ariz. 2-0 Champion
#4 Warner Royals Lake Wales, Fla. 0-1 DNP
#5 Trinity Christian Trolls Palos Heights, Ill.   0-1 4th
#8 Maranatha   Sabercats   Watertown, Wis. 0-3 8th


To follow the games at the 2020 tournament, visit

A Forward Look
June 24, 2020 A Forward Look
Hosting Hopes
June 19, 2020 Hosting Hopes
Back to Business
June 17, 2020 Back to Business
Remembering History
May 21, 2020 Remembering History
June Camps Cancelled
April 22, 2020 June Camps Cancelled
High Notes
April 4, 2020 High Notes
Unfinished Business
March 28, 2020 Unfinished Business
Close Calls
March 23, 2020 Close Calls
Opening Day Letters
March 20, 2020 Opening Day Letters
Coronavirus Cancellations
March 16, 2020 Coronavirus Cancellations
Depue Makes it Two
March 16, 2020 Depue Makes it Two
Nationals Cancelled
March 12, 2020 Nationals Cancelled
Callie Highlights Honors
March 11, 2020 Callie Highlights Honors
Johnson Honored Again
March 10, 2020 Johnson Honored Again
Wilkerson Awarded
March 6, 2020 Wilkerson Awarded
Nationals Insider
March 4, 2020 Nationals Insider
First Hurdle
February 27, 2020 First Hurdle
For Three
February 26, 2020 For Three
Sizing Up the Seedings
February 19, 2020 Sizing Up the Seedings
Callie Collects
February 14, 2020 Callie Collects
Classroom Competence
February 13, 2020 Classroom Competence
Running Da Show
February 3, 2020 Running Da Show
Inside the Field
January 23, 2020 Inside the Field
Year Three
January 16, 2020 Year Three
DeLozier Steps In
January 3, 2020 DeLozier Steps In
Twice Honored
December 13, 2019 Twice Honored
Steps Forward
December 13, 2019 Steps Forward
Lofty Standards
December 13, 2019 Lofty Standards
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
December 10, 2019 Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Home Stretch
December 10, 2019 Home Stretch
Unfinished Business
December 9, 2019 Unfinished Business
Twice Around for Johnson
December 1, 2019 Twice Around for Johnson
Best of the Best
November 27, 2019 Best of the Best
Nationals Scouting Report
November 19, 2019 Nationals Scouting Report
St. Lawrence Honored
November 18, 2019 St. Lawrence Honored
Revenge Ready
November 16, 2019 Revenge Ready
The Kick
November 15, 2019 The Kick
Looking Ahead
November 11, 2019 Looking Ahead
The Best in the North
November 9, 2019 The Best in the North
Living to Fight
November 9, 2019 Living to Fight
Two of the Best
November 9, 2019 Two of the Best
Sizing up the Semis
November 7, 2019 Sizing up the Semis
Flying Fopma in Focus
November 1, 2019 Flying Fopma in Focus
Wide Open
October 29, 2019 Wide Open
Work to Do
October 29, 2019 Work to Do
Nelson Gets the Nod
October 28, 2019 Nelson Gets the Nod
In Memory of Terry Price
October 25, 2019 In Memory of Terry Price
Four For Fopma
October 21, 2019 Four For Fopma
Fopma Goes Farther
October 14, 2019 Fopma Goes Farther
Triple Trouble
October 8, 2019 Triple Trouble
Johnson at the Top
October 1, 2019 Johnson at the Top
Hansel Honored
September 30, 2019 Hansel Honored
Kinzler Collects
September 30, 2019 Kinzler Collects
Shepard Snags Award
September 23, 2019 Shepard Snags Award
NCCAA Top 10 - September 17
September 18, 2019 NCCAA Top 10 - September 17
A Nod for Johnson
September 16, 2019 A Nod for Johnson
Fopma in the Spotlight
September 10, 2019 Fopma in the Spotlight
Fresh Start
September 10, 2019 Fresh Start
Off and Running
September 5, 2019 Off and Running
Maranatha Memories
August 31, 2019 Maranatha Memories
Reynolds Rewarded
August 30, 2019 Reynolds Rewarded
Eyes on the Prize
August 28, 2019 Eyes on the Prize
Just the Facts
August 23, 2019 Just the Facts
Dual Purpose
August 6, 2019 Dual Purpose
Borchardt Takes Over
August 1, 2019 Borchardt Takes Over