Fort Collins, Colo. – North Texas volleyball will return to the postseason for a second year in a row.
The Mean Green (17-16, 11-3) qualified for an invite to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship with a win over Wichita State on Saturday in four sets. North Texas was selected to host a first and second round match-up at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.
North Texas exited the same competition in the second round in 2017.
It is a date with Tulsa in round one for the Mean Green on Thursday. Tulsa (19-11) won the only match between the two schools this season in five sets on Sept. 26. The Golden Hurricane's lead the all-time series 7-15 dating back to 1981. North Texas' match is set for a 7 p.m. start following the conclusion of Wichita State (13-17) and Central Arkansas (26-6) set for 4:30 p.m. at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.
Winners advance to round two hosted on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.
"We're excited to be able to play in the tournament considering just last week were not eligible," head coach Andrew Palileo
said. "Our players have stayed the course and believed in each other throughout the whole season. It will be a fun first and second round with some great teams competing."
After downing Oral Roberts 3-1 in round one in 2017, the Mean Green were ousted by Texas Christian University in five sets in round two. TCU went on to win another round, advancing to the semi-finals before falling to Texas Tech who was swept in the championship game by the University of Mississippi.
The invite comes after North Texas bowed out of the Air Force Reserve Conference USA Championships in the semi-finals to No. 1 seed and eventual champions Rice University after defeating Florida Atlantic University in four sets to open the tournament, but ended the season on a hot streak. Rice was the only team to defeat North Texas in its final 11-matches in which North Texas went 9-2.