Liberty to Host NIVC 1st and 2nd Rounds, Saturday and Sunday
The Liberty volleyball team continues its breakthrough season, as the Lady Flames have been selected to compete in the 2022 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). Liberty will host first and second round matches on Saturday and Sunday at Liberty Arena. The Lady Flames will take on Western Carolina (18-12) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of that match will take on the winner of Clemson (13-17) and Toledo (18-12) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
This will be a ticketed event. Ticket information will be released on LibertyFlames.com when it is made available.
The 2022 NIVC features 32 teams. Rounds 1 and 2 action are scheduled for Dec. 1-4, with round 3 scheduled for Dec. 6-8. The semifinals will be held Dec. 8-11, and the championship match will be played Dec. 12 or 13.
This is the fifth edition of the NIVC since its reboot through Triple Crown Sports, as the event previously ran from 1989-95. Previous champions of the renewed NIVC are UNLV (2021), Georgia Tech (2019), Iowa State (2018) and Ole Miss (2017).
The Lady Flames (23-8) won the ASUN regular-season title for the first time with a 14-2 conference record, tying the program single-season record for conference wins. Liberty made its first conference tournament finals appearance since 2012, winning five-set matches over Stetson and Lipscomb before falling to No. 2 seed FGCU in the ASUN Volleyball Championship final. The Lady Flames carried a 12-match winning streak into the ASUN final, the team’s longest winning streak since the 2014 season.
Fifth-year Head Coach Trevor Johnson was named 2022 ASUN Volleyball Coach of the Year, while junior Delaney Dilfer was voted 2022 ASUN Setter of the Year. Dilfer and junior middle blocker Lydia Burts both appeared on the 2022 ASUN All-Conference first team, while junior outside hitter Kamryn Bacus was a second team all-conference selection and Madison Blane received third team all-conference honors.
Liberty is making its second appearance in the NIVC all-time, as the Lady Flames hosted the first and second rounds at the Vines Center in 2019. That year, Liberty defeated La Salle (3-2) and High Point (3-1) for the program’s first postseason victories. The Lady Flames then traveled to Atlanta, Ga., where they fell to the eventual tournament champion Georgia Tech in the NIVC Elite Eight. Current Lady Flames Amelia Preston (3) and Rajini Fitzmaurice (2) both started matches for Liberty during its 2019 NIVC tournament run.
This will be Liberty’s ninth postseason appearance overall, as the Lady Flames competed in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 before making the NIVC Elite Eight in 2019.
Liberty holds a 2-5 all-time record in the month of December, with both wins coming in the 2019 NIVC.