INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference released Saturday night the bracket for the 2018 GLVC Volleyball Championship Tournament. Defending Champion Lewis University earned the No. 1 seed and shared the Regular Season title with No. 2 Drury University and No. 3 University of Illinois Springfield. The tournament is again being held in East Peoria, Ill., at the EastSide Centre from Thursday, Nov. 8 through Saturday, Nov. 10.
Rockhurst University, University of Indianapolis and Bellarmine University respectively earned seeds 4-6, while McKendree University filled the No. 7 spot with Truman State University rounding out the field in eighth.
At 15-3 in league play with a .833 winning percentage, Lewis, Drury and Illinois Springfield become tri-GLVC Regular Season champions, but the Flyers were tabbed with the top seed due to Conference tiebreaker procedures. All three teams were tied at 1-1 against each other, so set records between the three – Lewis (5-3), Drury (5-5), and UIS (3-5) – were used to determine seeding.
Overall, Lewis went 24-6 during the regular season and will face No. 8 Truman State (21-10, 10-8 GLVC) in the last match on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8:30 p.m. Central Time, riding a GLVC-best eight-match win streak. The Flyers bookended the league slate with a pair of sweeps against the Bulldogs on Sept. 7 to open the season and earlier today, Nov. 3 to close it out. Lewis is currently ranked 22nd in the nation by the AVCA but was as high as No. 3 in the early stages of the campaign and are also third in the latest NCAA Regional Rankings. Lewis earns a league-best 28th berth in the postseason event and will look to extend its league record for GLVC Championship crowns with No. 11. Truman enters the postseason for the fourth time in program history.
Drury (25-5, 15-3) earned its first Regular Season title in program history and highest finish as the 2-seed, set to battle No. 7 McKendree (16-14, 10-8) at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8. The 13th-ranked Panthers enter the tournament having won five of their last six matches to close the season and also bring with them a 3-0 road sweep against the Bearcats from Sept. 28. McKendree earned the seventh seed over Truman based on a head-to-head tiebreaker in which the Bearcats topped the Bulldogs, 3-2, on Oct. 27. Drury, the top team in the Midwest Region, is making its ninth appearance in the postseason event, while McKendree will play in its fifth overall and consecutive tournament.
Illinois Springfield (24-6, 15-3), which is ranked sixth in the region, claimed the program’s first Regular Season crown and helped itself to the third seed in the Conference tournament. The Prairie Stars, which are receiving votes in the top-25 poll, will play No. 6 Bellarmine (20-9, 11-7) at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 to open the championship, which will be a rematch from Sept. 11 and earlier this afternoon Nov. 3. UIS took both matches, 3-0 and 3-2, respectively. The Prairie Stars will be making their second appearance in the championship event with its first one just last year, while the Knights also earn their second-straight berth to the GLVC postseason and 12th overall.
Rockhurst (27-6, 14-4), which is receiving votes in the national poll and regionally ranked ninth in D-II, will play its quarterfinal match on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 5:30 p.m. as the No. 4 seed and take on 5-seed Indianapolis (19-11, 12-6). This is the 14th bid to the postseason for the Hawks’ program, as they have qualified every single season since becoming a league member in 2005. The Greyhounds will be attending their 20th GLVC tournament and 19th in a row. UIndy – No. 5 in the regional rankings – beat Rockhurst, which fills the ninth spot in the region, in five sets, 3-2, Oct. 19 at home.
Each of the four winners from Thursday will advance to the semifinals set for 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9. The winners of each semifinal match will face each other on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12 p.m. for a shot at being crowned 2018 GLVC Volleyball Champions.