The SMSU volleyball team entering tournament play includes Taylor Reiss and Megan Larson.

Last tourney together for Reiss, Larson

Taylor Reiss and Megan Larson will tell you the same thing ... it’s hard for them to remember a time when they weren’t playing together on the same time. Now, after completing a 26-3 regular season with a No. 2 ranking in the nation, the two Minneota High School grads and former Viking teammates, will begin the quest for a Division II National Championship — and it will be their last time, since Larson is a senior this year.

Next year, Reiss will go it alone in her senior year. But for now, the Minneota Dynamic Duo is still on the court. Both Larson and Reiss have been Player of the Week this year and Reiss, who two years ago was the Rookie of the Year, has earned several other honors.

But now comes the final time when the two will play together for the final time. But they hope that final game together doesn’t come until at least Dec. 9 in the Division II Elite Eight in Pensacola, FL.

Southwest Minnesota State University will serve as the host of the NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the PE Gym on the campus of SMSU. The eight-team region tournament will have four quarterfinal matches on Thursday, a pair of semifinal matches on Friday night, with the championship match set for Saturday afternoon.

The winner of the tournament will advance to the Division II Elite Eight held on Dec. 7-9 in Pensacola, Florida, on the campus of the University of West Florida.

The tournament begins on Thursday at 12 p.m. with No. 2 seed Concordia-St. Paul facing No. 7 seed Central Oklahoma. At 2:30 p.m., No. 3 seed Nebraska-Kearney will battle No. 6 seed Missouri Western.

The 5 p.m. match as No. 4 seed Northern State taking on No. 5 Minnesota Duluth, while the quarterfinals conclude at 7:30 p.m. with No. 1 seed Southwest Minnesota State facing No. 8 seed Arkansas Tech. Southwest Minnesota State (26-3), ranked No. 2 in the latest AVCA Top 25 poll released on Monday, will be making its 14th straight NCAA tournament appearance and 15th overall in program history.

SMSU last hosted the Central Region Tournament in 2010.

The 2017 NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament is: Quarterfinals – Thursday, November 30 12 p.m. – Quarterfinal 1: No. 7 Central Oklahoma (29-5) vs. No. 2 Concordia St. Paul (28-3) 2:30 p.m. – Quarterfinal 2: No. 6 Missouri Western (24-10) vs. No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney (33-3) 5 p.m. – Quarterfinal 3: No. 5 Minnesota Duluth (24-6) vs. No. 4 Northern State (23-6) 7:30 p.m. – Quarterfinal 4: No. 8 Arkansas Tech (35-0) vs. No. 1 Southwest Minnesota State (26-3) Semifinals – Friday, December 1 5 p.m. – Semifinal 1: Q1 winner vs. Q2 winner 7:30 p.m. – Semifinal 2: Q3 winner vs. Q4 winner Championship – Saturday, December 2 3 p.m. – Semifinal 1 winner vs. Semifinal 2 winner

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