DENVER, Colo. (April 20, 2019) – Saturday night’s finals at the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) Championships for club teams at the Colorado Convention Center felt like a cross between big-time college sports and a great college party.
Teams and players on the court competed fiercely. Teams and players and fans off the court flirted, cheered, danced and sang.
The competition, which is supported by USA Volleyball, was important, but so was spending time with your best friends and letting off some steam before the final weeks of the school year.
On Wednesday, the NCVF announced that the 2020 nationals would be in Kansas City, Mo.
After three days of competition in Denver, 10 teams were crowned champions and others looked forward to getting better and playing in the finals in KC.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, this year’s men’s DI winner, knew all about wanting to get better.
In 2018, the Mustangs fell to San Diego State in the final.
This year they played Illinois in the final and lost the first set before battling back to win the next two, 22-25, 29-27, 19-17.
“It means a lot,” said Cal Poly’s Kevin Hornbeak. “As a fourth year with a lot of graduating seniors and our coach (Manuel Carter) who has been with us almost 10 years now, we love Cal Poly. We love our fans.”
Hornbeak played high school and junior club volleyball, but didn’t know about college club volleyball going into Cal Poly.
“Pretty soon I was like, ‘Wow, people have a great time and really take it seriously,’” he said. “It’s been the biggest part of my college career. I love it dearly.”
The women’s DI final also saw a 2018 silver-medal team come back to win gold as Texas A&M beat Texas, 25-20, 25-23. In 2018, Texas had beaten the Aggies.
Like Hornbeak, Texas A&M’s Lauren Stifflemire played high school and junior club volleyball at a high level. She has found club volleyball to be a very important part of her college experience.
“I have met my best friends,” she said. “These people are my family. I hang out with them outside of volleyball. It’s more than a sport with them. We take it very seriously.”
Full tournament results, the event program and the all-tournament team can be found by clicking here.
2018 NCVF Finals
Women’s DI Champion: Texas A&M; Runner-up: Texas
Men’s DI Champion: Cal Poly SLO; Runner-Up: Illinois
Women’s DIAA Champion: Grand Canyon State; Runner-up: Auburn
Men’s DIAA Champion: Northeastern; Runner-up: Xavier
Women’s IAAA Champion: Loyola Marymount; Runner-up: UW-Stevens Point
Men’s IAAA Champion: Rhode Island; Runner-up: George Washington
Women’s DII Champion: Sonoma State; Runner-up: Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Men’s DII Champion: St. Louis; Runner-up: Army
Women’s DIII Champion: Texas A&M; Runner-up: Florida
Men’s DIII Champion: Penn State; Runner-up: Ohio State