Fresh off a dominate 2023 CIAA Conference Championship, the 30-5 Lady Bears are set to play Wheeling University in the Atlantic Region hosted by Gannon University. The Lady Cardinals, champions of the Mountain East Conference (MEC), earned a 25-7 record including a perfect home record of 14-0.
The Lady Bears are led by the 2023 CIAA Coach of the Year, Jonathan Paulk and 2023 CIAA Conference Tournament MVP, Lauren Janok. Janok, a 5’11” redshirt senior, exploded for a match-high 45 assists in the CIAA Conference Championship. With a hard fought win over Elizabeth City State University, the Lady Bears secured their fifth CIAA title in school history and their first since 2008. The 30 win season is a modern school season record. In addition, the Lady Bears are the first team in 12 years to beat every CIAA opponent in the regular season and the postseason.
Eight eight-team regionals will be played at on-campus sites. Regional competition will be single-elimination, best three-of-five-set matches and will not include a third-place match. The winners of each of the eight regionals will advance to the finals, Dec. 7-9, at the UPMC Events Center in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. The eight advancing teams to the final site will be seeded by the Division II Women’s Volleyball Committee after completion of the regionals. Competition at the finals site will be single-elimination; best three-of-five-set matches.
The full 64-team field for the 2023 NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship can be seen at NCAA.com.
About the CIAA
Founded in 1912, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is the first and longest running, African American athletic conference in the U.S. and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 14 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country. In 2020, the conference celebrated the special 75th anniversary of its Championship Basketball Tournament – an event that has become a must-see in the African American community. The Basketball Tournament has been honored as a Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, for both 2018 and 2019. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the CIAA is governed by the Presidents and Chancellors of its 12 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Claflin University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Winston-Salem State University. Chowan University is an associate member in football. For more information on the CIAA, visit theciaa.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
About the NCAA Division II
The NCAA, the national governing body for college athletics, is a volunteer association of more than 1,000 colleges and universities that classify their athletics programs in one of three membership divisions. The 300+ institutions in NCAA Division II support a balanced approach in which student-athletes have the opportunity to earn scholarships based on their athletic ability, pursue their desired academic degree, and participate in all the campus and surrounding community have to offer. Division II student-athletes annually graduate at rates higher than their student body peers, and they have access to the best championships-participant ratio among the NCAA’s three divisions. Division II gives student-athletes the unique opportunity to compete in the classroom, on the field, in their career, for their causes, and on their terms. For additional information, visit NCAA.org.