FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University Volleyball has officially released their 2019 schedule. Once again the Lady Warriors will be taking on some of the best teams in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) including the always difficult slate of teams in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). This season they will face 11 teams that reached the final site of the 2018 NAIA National Tournament.
Each year Midland challenges themselves by playing one of the toughest schedules in the NAIA and with four matches outside of the conference against teams ranked in the top ten of last year’s final coaches’ poll, this year will be no exception.
Midland opens the season with a match against No. 5 Grand View during the Nebraska Strong Warrior Invitational hosted by the Warriors. The season opening invitational will be held Friday, August 16 and Saturday, August 17 in Fremont. It will also feature St. Ambrose and Briar Cliff.
On the opening night of the invitational, Midland University will recognize the men and women in and around the Fremont community who helped during the flooding this past spring. There will be tailgate that evening to celebrate the community and all the volunteers who took the time to help their fellow neighbors.
The Warriors will then hit the road for a pair of invites on back to back weekends. They begin with a short trip to Olathe, Kansas for the MNU Invitational on August 23-24. They’ll take on Hannibal-LaGrange and Trinity International as well as host-school MidAmerica Nazarene.
A week later, the toughest test on paper before GPAC play, the Warriors will play in the Spartan Invitational. The four team round robin invite will feature some of the best teams in the NAIA year in and year out; No. 3 Viterbo, No. 4 Midland, No. 6 Lindsey Wilson, and No. 9 Missouri Baptist (the host school). Matches will be played on Friday, August 30 and Saturday, August 31 in St. Louis, Missouri.
“We are very excited about our 2019 schedule,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann. “The players that we recruit to Midland want to be challenged and become the best team each year that they are capable of becoming. This year’s nonconference schedule will tell us early what our strengths and weaknesses are and help prepare us for the tough conference schedule.”
This year’s GPAC schedule will feature matches against five teams, not including Midland, that were ranked in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll at one point last year (Doane, Dordt, Hastings, Jamestown, and Northwestern). The Warriors will open conference play at home with a match against Doane on Wednesday, September 4.
The GPAC Postseason Tournament is scheduled for November 9-16 with the NAIA National Championship taking place December 3-7 in Sioux City, Iowa.
“Our goal every year regardless of who graduates is to make it to the national championship tournament and our schedule gives us a chance to develop into a national tournament caliber team.”
Midland will have its work cut out for them as they look to make their seventh straight appearance at the national tournament. Last year the Warriors finished 26-8, reaching the NAIA Semifinals for the second time in three years.