GREENVILLE, S.C. -- After undergoing numerous tournament restructurings, the seven-team NCCAA DII National Tournament begins tomorrow morning, and the Sabercats are looking to knock Bob Jones University off of the Division II throne, get revenge in the process, and recapture the title they held for three straight years.
The Sabercats have earned the #1 seed and a spot in Pool A with #4 Randall and #7 Pensacola Christian, opening the 2020 tournament with their first-ever clash with PCC.
The tournament will be held at Bob Jones University tomorrow through Friday, with the schedule as follows (all times Eastern):
|Wednesday, 11/18||1 p.m.||#1 Maranatha vs #7 Pensacola|
|Thursday, 11/19||11:15 a.m.||#4 Randall vs #7 Pensacola|
|Thursday, 11/19||4:30 p.m.||#1 Maranatha vs #4 Randall|
|Friday, 11/20||10 a.m./12:30 p.m.||National Semifinals|
|Friday, 11/20||5 p.m.||National Championship|
Here is an overview of the adjusted field:
|Pool A||Qualifying Method||Location||Record||Power Rating||2019 Finish|
|#1 Maranatha||North Champion||Watertown, Wis.||18-3||4.421||Runner-up|
|#4 Randall||At-Large (Southwest)||Moore, Okla.||7-7||3.750||1st Round|
|#7 Pensacola||At-Large (South)||Pensacola, Fla.||8-9||1.294||DNP|
|#2 Bob Jones||South Champion||Greenville, S.C.||11-6||4.300||Champion|
|#3 Dallas Christian||Southwest Champion||Dallas, Texas||10-6||2.625||DNP|
|#5 Toccoa Falls||At-Large (South)||Toccoa Falls, Ga.||11-8||2.340||1st Round|
|#6 Alice Lloyd||At-Large (Mideast)||Pippa Passes, Ky.||8-17||1.094||DNP|
#1 Maranatha - The Sabercats are undefeated in North Region and overall NCCAA play in the 2020 season, and they are looking to keep it that way. Maranatha blitzed through 13 North Region matches this season without dropping a single set and have held the #1 ranking in the NCCAA DII for the entire season. They are looking to reinforce the idea that they are the top team in the country.
#4 Randall - The Saints have made the national tournament for five seasons in a row, and they are never a team you can overlook. This is the second year in a row that the Sabercats have faced Randall in pool play, and with that, the Sabercats will look to double up the wins column as well. Randall has had some defensive struggles this year, as they average allowing 11.17 kills/set - the third-worst mark in NCCAA DII. Claire Hansel and company will be looking to Thursday's match as a chance to gain some offensive momentum as the Sabercats make their run for the semifinals.
#7 Pensacola - The Eagles have nothing to lose. When the original tournament field came out, the Eagles didn't even make the cut, as they lost in the DII South Region Tournament. They thought their season was over, and then when the first team dropped out due to COVID, the Eagles got the call. This is Pensacola's fifth appearance at the tournament and their first trip to the national stage since 2015. Look at the national statistics and you won't see Pensacola at one extreme end of any one category. The Sabercats could interpret that multiple ways, but they will be sure to take the angle that Pensacola has no defining weaknesses and deserve respect of a team that can't be overlooked.