The Gallaudet University women’s volleyball team plays Juniata College today at 3 p.m. ET in Rochester, New York, in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division III national tournament. This is Gallaudet’s first appearance in the national tournament since 2016. Gallaudet (21-11) won the United East Conference championship last Saturday to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. Juniata (28-1) is a perennial powerhouse, having won 40 consecutive conference championships. They won the national championship twice, in 2004 and 2006, and were national runner-up six times. This will be Gallaudet’s 13th appearance on the national stage, and the ninth under 16-year coach Lynn Ray Boren (2006, 2010 through 2016, and now 2021). The team is 2-12 in NCAA tournament competition. The 1999 and 2006 teams advanced to the regional final, where they lost to Juniata, its opponent today. Senior outside hitter Karita Lewis, United East player of the year; freshman opposite Emily Wright, United East rookie of the year; and senior opposite Elina Rubinshteyn, who was named to the all-conference second team. Lewis is a member of the United States national deaf women’s team as well. Eight members of the team are products of the strong volleyball program at Texas School for the Deaf. Regional tournaments are being held Thursday through Sunday at eight sites, including Rochester Institute of Technology where Gallaudet will play. The top eight teams will be seeded, then they will advance to the national quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship matches November 18-20 at Washington University in St. Louis. The Gallaudet-Juniata match will be webcast, and real-time statistics will be posted. Visit the Gallaudet Athletics website for more information. Let’s wish our team the best of luck this afternoon!