BC to host Princeton in NCAA opener

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Two years ago, Barton College made history by qualifying for the NCAA National College Men’s Volleyball Championship. This year, the Bulldogs are bringing the NCAA tournament to Wilson Gym.

Barton, the Division II Conference Carolinas champion, will host Princeton of the Div. I Ivy League in a first-round matchup Thursday, April 25, at Wilson Gym. Barton (25-4) is the only team from a Div. II conference in the seven-team field. Lewis University of Illinois is a Div. II school that competes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, an eight-team league split between Div. I and Div. II programs.

Barton, which lost to Brigham Young in the first round in Columbus, Ohio, in 2017, will head to Long Beach, California, with a win Thursday. Waiting will be Pepperdine (22-6) in match 3 of the opening round on Tuesday, April 30. Southern California (18-10), which lost to Barton in January in Tennessee, faces Lewis (25-5) in the other match at Long Beach State.

Top-seeded Hawaii (27-2) and No. 2 Long Beach State (26-2) await in the semifinals May 2 while the championship match is set for May 4. Should it reach the semifinals, Barton would face Long Beach State, which swept Barton in the second match of the season Jan. 11 in Hickory.