Arkansas Tech's hopes of making its first appearance in the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament since 2000 are alive.
The Golden Suns (29-3) are listed at No. 8 in the first NCAA Division II South Central Region rankings of the 2011 season, which were released by the NCAA on Wednesday.
Below are the regional rankings as of Wednesday, Oct. 26:
1. Washburn (21-1)
2. Central Missouri (19-4)
3. Angelo State (25-2)
4. West Texas A&M (24-1)
5. St. Edward's (16-8)
6. Arkansas-Fort Smith (20-7)
7. Truman State (16-9)
8. Arkansas Tech (29-3)
9. Abilene Christian (15-11)
10. Emporia State (14-8)
Eight teams will be invited to participate in the 2011 NCAA Division II Tournament South Central Regional during the third weekend in November.
The conference champions from the the Heartland Conference, the Lone Star Conference and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association will earn automatic bids.
Because the Great American Conference --- the league that Arkansas Tech began competing in this fall --- is a new NCAA Division II conference, its champion will not receive an automatic bid this year. However, GAC teams are eligible for at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.
At-large selections are based on such factors as head-to-head competition, in-region results and in-region strength of schedule. Five at-large selections will be made for the 2011 NCAA Division II Tournament South Central Regional.
Arkansas Tech has three regular season matches remaining --- Thursday, Oct. 26, at Harding, Thursday, Nov. 3, vs. Southeastern Oklahoma State and Friday, Nov. 4, vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State.
The Golden Suns' final opportunity to impress the regional committee will be Nov. 11-12 during the GAC Volleyball Tournament. The NCAA will announce the selections for the 2011 NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament after the conference tournaments are complete.
Arkansas Tech's only appearance in the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament came 11 years ago when the 2000 Golden Suns amassed an overall record of 36-5, won the Gulf South Conference West Division title and finished as GSC Tournament runners-up.
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