Flames ranked No. 3 in NCVF going into Hoosier-Illini Classic
February 13, 2020 | Lynchburg, Va.
After winning the East Coast Volleyball Association (ECVA) South tournament it hosted on Saturday, Liberty University's Division I men's volleyball team debuted at No. 3 in the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) rankings, released this week.
|First-year Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre and his staff have the Flames headed in the right direction this spring.|
"Part of (this year's ranking) might be carry over from how the team finished at nationals last year," Liberty's first-year Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre said. "We have a lot of new pieces in place this year and we are not putting a lot of stock in it because we haven't seen any of the teams out West."
"We don't want to get complacent," he added. "This just puts a big target on our back and we're going to get everybody's best every time we play them."
This weekend, the Flames will be tested by fire when they travel to Bloomington, Ind., to compete in the annual Hoosier-Illini Classic.
"We'll see a lot of really good teams in Indiana," VanDePerre said. "There's 20 teams going and 10 are ranked in the top 25, which is great. This and the (March 28-29) East Coast Championships are two of the best tournaments we play all season. We are excited to go battle and see what we can do."
In Saturday's pool play, Liberty will face Vanderbilt at 9 a.m., Michigan at noon, Michigan State at 3 p.m., and seventh-ranked Illinois — the team that knocked the Flames out of the national semifinals last year — at 6 p.m. Sunday's playoffs are expected to be over by 3 p.m.
"We'll try to win our pool in the first day and that will put us into the gold bracket," VanDePerre said. "There are quite a few teams there that could win nationals, so it is awesome to get to play them and in an environment that's not familiar to us. We've done well at home, but competing after a long bus trip and in a different gym will test us, which is what we're looking for this season. We want to continue to shape the best version of ourselves as we head toward (the April 9-11 NCVF Championships in Kansas City, Mo.)"