Last year San Francisco’s women’s club volleyball team won the D-2 national championship. This year San Francisco was looking to make a run at a repeat championship but this time in the D-1 level.
After finishing the regular season in the Northern California Collegiate Volleyball League (NCCVL) with a 12-1 record, they competed in the League Championships and were granted a first-round bye. However, to the teams displeasure, they fell to Chico in the quarterfinals. That wasn’t the end of their season though. They still had the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) Championships to look forward to.
The NCVF Championships was a three-day long tournament held from Thursday, April 13 until Saturday, April 15 in Kansas City, Missouri. After ten games over the duration of those three-days, San Francisco came out on top as the champions of Division 1 collegiate club volleyball.
Starting off day one was first-round pool play, USF was together with the University of North Carolina, the University of Central Florida and Indiana University. The Dons were only able to garner one win against Indiana while UNC won all three of their matches. Even so, San Francisco was able to earn a spot in a challenge match on day two to be able to continue on in the tournament. Their challenge match foes were the University of Oregon.
On day two against Oregon, USF edged out a win in their first set 25-23 and comfortably took the second set with a 25-17 scoreline. The win against the Ducks gave San Francisco a place in one of the Championship Flight pools, the other teams joining them were the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans. This time around USF got the better of their foes in pool play and won both of their games. Against the Bruins, the Dons won 25-17 and 25-18. Their game against the Trojans was stress inducing. After dropping the first set 20-25, they bounced back to win the second set 25-20 and won the tie-break third-set 17-15. San Francisco survived and advance to the Gold Bracket of the playoffs.
In the Gold Bracket the sixteen best teams went at it on the final day of play, the team to get four wins would be able to claim the title of best team in the nation. USF’s first game came up against Iowa State, the Cyclones were downed 25-17 and 25-19. The quarterfinal game was against the University of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish didn’t have enough fight in them as they too fell in straight sets, 25-15 and 25-22. The Dons semifinal match was against the University of Texas at Austin. Texas lost the first set but bounced back to take the second. The Dons were victorious after taking the third set 15-9. The finals were a nail-biter, even though USF won in straight sets, they were pushed to their limits having won the sets 28-26 and 27-25 against Ohio State University. The Buckeyes came in looking to repeat as D-1 champs but had to settle for second as the Dons claimed the 2017 crown.
With another successful season in the books expectations are sure to be high for next season. It’s not farfetched to say the University of San Francisco will have a target on their back after winning the D-2 championship last year and making a huge leap to become the D-1 champions this year.