CHICAGO - Only one Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) team was able to solve league champion Trinity Christian College during the regular season. Any of seven teams could get one more opportunity at the Trolls when the CCAC Volleyball Tournament kicks off Tuesday night (Nov. 12) at four different sites. No. 3 seed Cardinal Stritch University, which captured the league's North Division title with a 15-2 record, was the only team to knock off TCC, doing so in four games back on Oct. 25. For the Wolves (26-11) to do so again, they would have to win a pair of contests this week to set the stage for the rematch in the championship match of the tournament on Saturday.
No. 1 seed Trinity Christian (33-7 overall) would have to do the same, winning both its quarterfinal- and semifinal-round matchups on Tuesday and Thursday.
Looking to deny those teams of that possibility will be No. 2 seed University of St. Francis (29-10), No. 4 seed Indiana University South Bend (18-12), No. 5 seed Olivet Nazarene University (20-19), No. 6 seed Saint Xavier University (16-13), No. 7 seed Roosevelt University (24-13) and No. 8 seed Calumet College of St. Joseph (10-27).
Calumet St. Joseph will have the first shot at upsetting Trinity Christian on Tuesday with Olivet Nazarene traveling to Indiana South Bend in the same half of the bracket. Indiana South Bend, which just started its program two years ago, handed Cardinal Stritch one of its only two losses. St. Francis provided the Wolves with their second setback.
The winners of the Calumet St. Joseph/Trinity Christian and Olivet Nazarene/Indiana South Bend matches would meet in the semifinal round on Thursday at the site of the highest remaining seed.
On the other side of the bracket, St. Francis is the favorite to head to the finals as the No. 2 seed. The Saints dropped each of their three league decisions inside their own South Division with a pair of losses to Trinity Christian and one to Olivet Nazarene.
The Saints host Roosevelt on Tuesday with Saint Xavier pairing up with Cardinal Stritch in Milwaukee. Those two winners would also meet on Thursday in semifinal-round action at the site of the highest remaining seed.
The CCAC Championship match will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. at the site of the highest remaining seed with the winner earning the second automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships. Trinity Christian gained the first bid by winning the regular season.
Should Trinity Christian also claim the tournament title, the conference tournament runnerup would advance to the NAIA National Championships, which begin with the Opening Round on Saturday, Nov. 23.
The complete schedule follows:
Tuesday, Nov. 12 – Quarterfinal Round
• Match 1: No. 8 Calumet St. Joseph (10-27) at No. 1 Trinity Christian (33-7) --- 7 p.m.
• Match 2: No. 5 Olivet Nazarene (20-19) at No. 4 Indiana South Bend (18-12) --- 6:30 p.m.
• Match 3: No. 7 Roosevelt (24-13) at No. 2 St. Francis (29-10) --- 7 p.m.
• Match 4: No. 6 Saint Xavier (16-13) at No. 3 Cardinal Stritch (26-11) --- 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 14 - Semifinal Round
• Match 5: Winner-Match 1 vs. Winner-Match 2 --- 7 p.m. (at site of highest remaining seed)
• Match 6: Winner-Match 3 vs. Winner-Match 4 --- 7 p.m. (at site of highest remaining seed)
Saturday, Nov. 16 – Championship
• Match 7: Winner-Match 5 vs. Winner-Match 6 --- 7 p.m. (at site of highest remaining seed)