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Hastings College earns auto bid to NAIA tournament

The 2016 NAIA National Championship banner hangs at Lynn Farrell Arena for the Hastings College volleyball team (KHGI)

HASTINGS --- One loss should never define a season, especially when a team wins 22 of 24 matches and earns an automatic spot in the national championship tournament.

Despite their five set loss to Doane, Hastings College Volleyball advances to the NAIA tourney after edging out Northwestern and Dordt in a three–way tie for the GPAC regular season title.

Playing at the five–day event in Sioux City is nothing new for this group of veterans.

"Well this group has been to nationals now three years in a row, so it's almost for better or worse, because it's kind of normal," said head coach Matt Buttermore. "Worse because you kind of take it for granted, for better because there's maybe not a lot of nerves going into it."

The Broncos, ranked No. 3 in the latest NAIA poll, are almost assured to earn a straight shot to the Tyson Events Center as one of the top 19 seeds. First, they have a GPAC tournament to ready for starting Saturday at home against Concordia.

"Not a big reaction we're just getting ready for post–season. It's what we worked hard this year for, we wanted to win the conference and go back to nationals, and give ourselves a good shot there, so we accomplished those two things," said Buttermore.

The NAIA tournament starts Nov. 18 at 12 select school sites between 24 teams, and the winners of those matches advance to the final site.

The Broncos are vying for a second straight national championship banner beginning Nov. 28.

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