For the eighth time in program history, the Shippensburg University volleyball team has qualified for the NCAA Division II Volleyball National Championships.
The Raiders will open the tournament Thursday at 5 p.m. with a matchup against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) rival Millersville University. The tournament will be hosted by Wheeling University in West Virginia.
SU enters the tournament as the Atlantic Region’s No. 4 seed. Among Atlantic Region representatives, the Raiders sit behind just Wheeling, Gannon and East Stroudsburg universities.
The Raiders have already played two matches this season against the No. 4-seeded Marauders, winning one of them. SU breezed past MU in straight sets on Oct. 26 at Heiges Field House, but fell 3-2 in a competitive affair on Nov. 15 at Pucillo Gymnasium in Millersville.
The Raiders, who sit at 26-6 after a wildly successful season, are a tightly-knit group led by an energetic and experienced senior class.
“We really enjoy playing with one another,” coach Leanne Piscotty said. “And that’s what we’re gonna ride every single match.”
The seniors, led by Gabriella Johnson, Kendall Johnson, Samantha Webber and Megan Forstburg, received high praise from Piscotty.
“They’re always calm, cool and collected and maintain compsure when things are tight,” Piscotty said. “They have a very high volleyball IQ and they’re very good at applying that knowledge.”
The tournament berth is the Raiders’ seventh in the last eight seasons under Piscotty.
With a win, the Raiders would advance to take on either No. 1-seeded Wheeling or No. 8-seeded Fayetteville State University.