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Cardinals land sixth seed into NJCAA tourney

by JASON ELLIOTT
Sports Writer | November 11, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d’ALENE — With the top six teams in the NJCAA winning out in regional tournaments, the sixth-ranked North Idaho College volleyball team remained the sixth seed for next week’s NJCAA tournament, starting next Thursday in West Plains, Mo.

“I’m not totally surprised we didn’t move up,” NIC coach Colleen Frohlich said. “At this point, I don’t think it matters. We’ve still got to play all sorts of good teams.”

NIC (26-6) opens the tournament against 11th seed Iowa Western (42-6) next Thursday at 8 a.m. PST in the first round.

Both teams faced Northeastern of Sterling, Colo., with the Cardinals losing in four games and Iowa Western in four games.

NIC beat Casper College in three games and Iowa Western lost to Casper.

“Our focus remains the same as it has been all season,” Frohlich said. “We’re just taking it one match at a time. We’ve talked about an 11-game season and our goals have changed a bit, but we’re going to nationals for a reason.”

Miami-Dade College (33-0) is the top seed.

NIC advanced by winning the Region 18 tournament on Saturday against Salt Lake at Christianson Gymnasium. Salt Lake (26-6) advances as the runner-up and District B representative and is the eighth seed, and will face ninth-seed Midland (33-5) at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

“Nationals is special enough just being there,” said Frohlich, in her first year at NIC. “We really don’t have to change anything. Once you get there, you’ve got to play the way that got you there. This is a new experience for our entire team.”

NIC will not see Region 18 rival Salt Lake until a possible Saturday match for a trophy.

“I like our bracket,” Frohlich said. “I like that we can see Salt Lake down the road. It’s a familiar matchup for both of us. Both of us have confidence and it would be nice to get in there and battle it out again.”

First-round schedule

Thursday, Nov. 18

at Missouri State University

West Plains, Mo.

Times PST

Match 1 — No. 14 Jefferson College (21-10) vs. No. 3 San Jacinto (26-9), 7 a.m.

Match 2 — No. 11 Iowa Western (42-6) vs. No. 6 North Idaho (26-6), 7 a.m.

Match 3 — No. 10 Eastern Arizona (30-4) vs. No. 7 Florida State-Jacksonville (30-7), 9 a.m.

Match 4 — No. 15 Barton County (25-8) vs. No. 2 Western Wyoming (37-5), 9 a.m.

Match 5 — No. 16 Gadsden State (29-9) vs. No. 1 Miami-Dade (33-0), 11 a.m.

Match 6 — No. 9 Midland (33-5) vs. No. 8 Salt Lake (26-6), 11 a.m.

Match 7 — No. 12 Temple (25-11) vs. No. 5 Blinn (30-5), 1 p.m.

Match 8 — No. 13 Wallace State (52-1) vs. No. 4 Western Nebraska (39-4), 1 p.m.

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