WAYNE, Neb. -- A pair of Nebraska schools are in prime position to make the NCAA Division II volleyball tournament.

Wayne State College, which is ranked second nationally, sits in the top spot of the central region rankings. UNK is ranked fifth in the latest regional rankings.

A total of 64 teams make the NCAA Division II Tournament, with the top eight teams from each region qualifying for the competition. Automatic bids for the central region are granted to the winners of the GAC, MIAA and NSIC Postseason Tournaments with the remaining five spots awarded on an at-large basis.

Six of the top 10 teams in the national rankings come from the central region, with the top eight all falling inside the top 17. A total of 10 teams from the central region are ranked this week, including five NSIC teams in the top eight.

Wayne State is one of five NSIC schools listed in the rankings and is first with a 27-1 NCAA overall record as of October 31. Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota Duluth from the NSIC are second and third followed by Northwest Missouri State and UNK from the MIAA in fourth and fifth.

Central Missouri is sixth and Southwest Minnesota State is seventh.  Central Oklahoma, Washburn and St. Cloud State close out the top 10 teams in the region.  The NCAA selection show is set for Sunday, November 13th at 9 p.m.

Wayne State and Concordia-St. Paul will meet for the third time this season when the Wildcats travel to Minnesota to take on the Golden Bears on Saturday. That will follow a Friday road match for the Wildcats at Minnesota State. Wayne State has swept CSP twice this season, once in non-conference play and once in conference play. Wayne State's lone loss this season was in five sets at Southwest Minnesota State.

UNK is 24-3 on the season. The Lopers will wrap up the regular season this weekend with a pair of matches in Kearney, first against Pittsburg State followed by a Saturday tilt against Missouri Southern.

NCAA Central Region Volleyball Rankings

(records as of October 31, 2022)

                                              Overall  In-Region

  1. Wayne State                 26-1      21-1
  2. Concordia-St. Paul        23-3      18-3
  3. Minnesota Duluth          23-3      19-3
  4. Northwest Missouri St.   21-5      15-3
  5. Nebraska Kearney         22-4      18-4
  6. Central Missouri            18-8      16-4
  7. Southwest Minnesota    21-5      17-5
  8. Central Oklahoma         23-5      21-5
  9. Washburn                     20-6      14-6
  10. St. Cloud State              21-5      15-5