(Editor's note: University of Providence media release)
GREAT FALLS—The No. 5 University of Providence volleyball team has officially earned a spot in the NAIA National Tournament. The Argos (25-2, 10-0) will host Florida College at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 in the McLaughlin Center in the 2021 NAIA Women's Volleyball National Championship Opening Round.
"I'm really excited," said head coach Arunas Duda, who was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight season on Sunday. "It's really a great honor for the team and program. We retained our seed as #5 overall and are hosting in the first round of the tournament. That in itself is exciting. Being able to be here and get another home game in front of our crowd is going to be a lot of fun."
A total of 48 teams qualified for the 2021 NAIA National Tournament, with every team playing an opening round game at the campus of the higher seed. The 24 winners of those opening round games will then head to Sioux City, Iowa, where they will be grouped into eight pools of three teams. The eight winners of pool play will then play a single-elimination tournament to determine a National Champion.
While the team has their sights set on Sioux City, they must get through the Falcons (21-19, 4-2), who finished as the runner-up in the Continental Athletic Conference. They'll be making the trip up to Montana from Tampa, Florida.
"I don't know a lot about them," Duda said. "We really weren't expecting them. We're hoping for a lot of snow this week and some cold weather."
The coaching staff will immediately get to work to prepare for the Falcons. They'll review game film to come up with an accurate scouting report while simultaneously keeping things steady and consistent in practice.
"There's going to be a lot of work from the coaching staff outside of the gym to scout this team and prepare for what we're going to see," Duda said. "At the same time, we're back to work as usual in the gym. There's some adjustments that we'll make but we don't want to change too much. The formula has been working so far. We just want to keep going as usual."
The Argos have been on a roll. They're currently on an 18-game winning streak and are coming off of two three-set sweeps at the Frontier Conference Tournament this past weekend to win the Frontier Conference Tournament Championship.
The team, who have only played four games at home all season, will be excited to get one more home game under their belt in front of what they hope will be a passionate crowd.
"It's going to be fun," Duda said. "I know our student section will be loud and hopefully we'll get a lot of support from the community as well. I'm just really excited. The girls have done such a great job of elevating this program to No. 5 in the country. It's time to show everybody our best volleyball. We're excited."