LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team is set to make the program’s first-ever postseason appearance in a national event – continuing its 2022 season – after being selected to compete in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) tournament, officials announced Sunday night.
 
The selection for the NIVC marks the first time in Louisiana’s 47-year history (1976-present) that the Ragin’ Cajuns are set to compete in a national postseason tournament and play on into the month of December.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns have been assigned to a four-team regional hosted by UTRGV in Edinburg, Texas starting on Friday, December 2 at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
 
Louisiana will play South Dakota State at 4:00 p.m. on Friday followed by host-UTRGV and Houston Christian at 7:00 p.m. The winner of the two matches will face one another on Saturday, December 3 at 2:00 p.m. for the right to advance to the third round in the single-elimination event. 
 
“We are thrilled to be competing in December,” Louisiana Volleyball head coach Kristi Gray said. “This team talked about leaving a legacy, and to be the first in program history selected to play in a national postseason tournament is just what they are doing.
 
“We are setting the standard for the future,” Gray added. “With the expectation of competing in the postseason.”
 
Louisiana heads into the NIVC tournament with a 15-12 mark, the second consecutive season with a winning record under Gray’s guidance.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns, who picked up a signature non-conference win over Alabama back in September, closed the regular season strong winning five of their last eight outings before advancing into the quarterfinals at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. While at the SBC Tournament, the team returned to full strength by regaining the services of 1,100-plus career kills and digs performer Kelsey Bennett who returned to the court.
 
Louisiana is one of three Sun Belt Conference representatives in the NIVC, joined by Troy and Southern Miss in the event.
 
The 2022 NIVC features 32 teams. Round 1 and 2 action is scheduled for December 1-4, with Round 3 scheduled for December 6-8. The semifinals will be held December 8-11, and the championship match will be played December 12 or 13.
 
This is the fifth edition of the NIVC since its reboot through Triple Crown Sports; the event previously ran from 1989-95. Previous champions of the current NIVC are UNLV (2021), Georgia Tech (2019), Iowa State (2018) and Ole Miss (2017). 
 
NIVC Rounds 1 & 2 at UTRGV (Edinburg, Texas / UTRGV Fieldhouse)
Friday, Dec. 2
Louisiana (15-12) vs. South Dakota State (17-14), 4:00 p.m.
Houston Christian (23-10) vs. UTRGV (25-6), 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3
Winners, 2:00 p.m.