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(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team will leave Monday evening, Nov. 18 for its 13th appearance at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women’s National Volleyball Championship Tournament, and everyone is invited to come and give the team a rousing send-off beginning at 4:45 p.m. that day in the Student Recreation Center at the corner of Garfield Avenue and West Trish Knight Street.

The Grizzlies, 23-12, punched their ticket to this year’s event Saturday afternoon, Nov. 9, after defeating Harford Community College 25-14, 25-8, 25-16 for the NJCAA District N title in Bel Air, Md.

“We are extremely proud of our Lady Grizzlies this year and for Head Coach Paula Wiedemann’s sustained record of excellence for many years. Maybe 13 will be our lucky number!,” Chancellor Drew Bennett said.

The send-off will include brief remarks by Bennett; West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann, who will present a proclamation to the team; Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker; and Wiedemann. Special “good luck” mementos also will be given to each team member.

The national tournament will get underway Thursday, Nov. 21, in Casper, Wyo., with Casper College as host. The tournament will remain in Casper for the next two seasons.

According to information provided by NJCAA officials, the Grizzlies are seeded 12th. Other teams and their seeds are No. 1 Blinn College (35-3), Brenham, Texas; No. 2 Tyler Junior College (31-4), Tyler, Texas; No. 3 Western Nebraska Community College (37-3), Scottsbluff; No. 4 Iowa Western Community College (42-3), Council Bluffs; No. 5 Hillsborough Community College (38-4), Tampa, Fla.; No. 6 Salt Lake Community College (22-6), Salt Lake City, Utah; No. 7 College of Central Florida (26-12), Ocala; No. 8 Arizona Western College (19-4), Yuma; No. 9 North Idaho College (15-9), Coeur d’Alene; No. 10 Northwest College (24-11), Powell, Wyo.; No. 11 Hill College (28-7), Hillsboro, Texas; No. 13 New Mexico Military Institute (23-16), Roswell; No. 14 Hutchinson Community College (27-10), Hutchinson, Kan.; No. 15 Wallace State Community College (30-15), Hanceville, Ala.; and No. 16 Gadsden State Community College (27-7), Gadsden, Ala.

“We are so excited about going to the national tournament and appreciate all the tremendous support and encouragement we have received getting to this point,” Wiedemann said. “Even though we will be many miles away, we know there will be a lot of people with us in spirit, and for that we are grateful. We are representing our university and our community, and we are very proud to do so!”

For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/. For more information about the national tournament, visit http://tbirds.info/.

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