Meet the teams in the 2021 NCAA DIII Volleyball Finals

Calvin seeded sixth in eight-team field

Calvin captured a regional title last week to send the Knights to the 2021 NCAA finals in St. Louis. (Photo courtesy

Calvin captured a regional title last week to send the Knights to the 2021 NCAA finals in St. Louis. (Photo courtesy

Calvin volleyball will travel to St. Louis, Missouri, for the NCAA Division III tournament finals happening Thursday-Saturday with big dreams to cap off a successful 30-3 season in which the Knights won the MIAA tournament title. Calvin is one of eight teams remaining from a 64-team field that began NCAA tournament play on Nov. 11.

The Knights face #3 Trinity at 9 p.m. on Thursday. The winner of that game will play in a semifinal match at 8:30 p.m. Friday against the winner of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps vs Berry. The championship match will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Here’s the scoop on each of the eight teams looking for an NCAA title in St. Louis this weekend:


Juniata College

Seed: #1

Record: 31-1

Location: Huntingdon, PA

Nickname: Eagles

Season recap: After losing their second match of the season, Juniata ripped off a 30-game winning streak to roll into the NCAA tournament. On their way to their 40th consecutive Landmark Conference title, the Eagles went a month without dropping a set over 12 games between Oct. 13 and Nov. 12. Juniata has appeared in every NCAA tournament since it began in 1981.


Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges

Seed: #2

Record: 30-1

Location: Claremont, CA

Nickname: Athenas

Season recap: Coach Kurt Vlasich received the AVCA DIII National Coach of the Year Award for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ 30-1 season in which the Athenas won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. The Athenas’ only loss of the season was to Calvin at the Midwest Invitational in Calvin Head Coach Amber Warners’ 600th career victory.


Trinity University

Seed: #3

Record: 34-2

Location: San Antonio, TX

Nickname: Tigers

Season recap: The Tigers took home the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title in an impressive 34-2 season, falling only to #2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and #5 Tufts. The Tigers played a difficult schedule on their way to St. Louis, with five matches against top-10 opponents and another against fellow quarterfinalist MIT. Trinity will face Calvin in a rematch of the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal match that the Tigers won in five sets.


University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Seed: #4

Record: 32-3

Location: Eau Claire, WI

Nickname: Blugolds

Season recap: Wisconsin-Eau Claire rides a 12-game winning streak into the quarterfinals, having won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and its NCAA regional. After losing to Hope College in the regular season, the Blugolds knocked off the Flying Dutch in the third round of the NCAA tournament to reach the round of eight.


Tufts University

Seed: #5

Record: 21-5

Location: Middlesex County, MA

Nickname: Jumbos

Season recap: Tufts needed an at-large bid to reach the NCAA tournament after placing third in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, but the Jumbos made the most of it, upsetting host Johns Hopkins in the third round to reach the quarterfinals and give Johns Hopkins its first defeat in over two years. The Jumbos also knocked off #3 Trinity in a five-set match on Oct. 9.


Calvin University

Seed: #6

Record: 30-3

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Nickname: Knights

Season recap: The Knights went 30-3 in Amber Warners’ 20th year as head coach, posting notable wins over Chicago and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Calvin lost twice to Hope in the regular season, but were able to knock off the Flying Dutch in the MIAA conference championship to earn Calvin’s 16th MIAA tournament title. 


Berry College

Seed: #7

Record: 28-2

Location: Mount Berry, GA

Nickname: Vikings

Season recap: Berry earned both the Southern Athletic Association regular season and tournament championships in an impressive 28-2 campaign. One of Berry’s two losses in the regular season was to Emory University, but the Vikings were able to leave the Atlanta regional with a victory after knocking off Emory in the third round of the NCAA tournament.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Seed: #8

Record: 29-3

Location: Cambridge, MA

Nickname: Engineers

Season recap: MIT won its first 17 games of the season before falling to #3 Trinity on Oct. 9. The Engineers dropped back-to-back matches to Williams and Babson later in October before going on a seven-game win streak entering the NCAA quarterfinals. After tying Babson for first place in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference regular season, MIT took home the conference tournament title to earn an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.