BLOOMINGTON — The Illinois Wesleyan volleyball team was chosen as an at-large entry for the NCAA Division III championships and will host an eight-team regional at Shirk Center from Thursday through Saturday.
The Titans (22-7) face the University of Chicago (23-8) at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Other first-day matches pit Washington U. (24-9) vs. defending national champion Calvin College (26-3) at 12:30 p.m., College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin regular-season champion Millikin (28-7) vs. Greenville College (26-7) at 3 p.m., and CCIW tournament champion Carthage College (25-8) vs. Concordia Wisconsin (26-2) at 5:30 p.m.
The winners meet in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday. The championship match is at 7 p.m. Saturday.
IWU is making its fifth all-time NCAA tournament appearance with others coming in 2015, 1998, 1997, and 1991. IWU has a 1-4 record in national tourney play.
Four make all-league teams: IWU was represented by four players on the 22-member CCIW all-conference team announced Monday.
Juniors Tyler Brown, Maddie Williams and Rachel Burkman were chosen to the first team while senior Kyleigh Block was a second-team selection.
Brown, a repeat first-team pick, ranked fifth in the CCIW for kills during conference play with 3.34 kills/set in 97 sets played. Defensively, she was seventh in the CCIW with 4.76 digs per set and was the only player in the conference to appear on both top 10 lists for kills and digs per set.
Williams, like Brown a Normal West graduate, ranked among the best defensive middle hitters in the conference, averaging 0.93 blocks per set for a total of 27 blocks (nine solo, 18 assisted) in CCIW play. Her nine solo blocks also ranked second in the conference. Offensively, Williams hit .246 with 50 kills in league action.
Burkman, a junior, ranked fourth in the CCIW in attacking efficiency with a .292 hitting percentage during conference play. She had 76 kills on 195 attempts.
Block was a second-team choice for the third time and earned all-conference honors all four seasons. Her 0.38 aces per set ranked third in the conference.
Millikin senior right side hitter Alora Goodey, a Lincoln High School graduate, was named the CCIW Player of the Year after averaging 3.43 kills and hitting .336 over eight CCIW matches.
Goodey's teammate, freshman middle blocker Maddie Holland, claimed CCIW Freshman of the Year honors. Big Blue coach Debbie Kiick won her third straight CCIW Coach of the Year award.