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After loss, No. 6 Viterbo to take on No. 12 Central Methodist today in Sweet 16

Rick Solem

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Viterbo's Abbey Johnson sets, as Maya Roberts and Rekha Drevlow move in for the hit Thursday in the NAIA tournament. (PHOTO: ViterboAthletics.com)

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — It took five sets, but the Viterbo University volleyball team suffered its first loss in the NAIA tournament.

The V-Hawks can’t lose any more.

In the final round of pool play, sixth-ranked Viterbo fell to No. 12 Central Methodist 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 22-25, 25-16, 15-8) at the Tyson Event Center on Thursday.

The V-Hawks (33-6) finish second in pool play behind Marian (34-2) with a 2-1 record, advancing to Friday’s Sweet 16. The entire tournament will be completed this weekend.

Viterbo will play at 11:15 a.m. Friday against No. 12 Central Methodist (33-3). The winner plays at 6 p.m. in the Elite Eight against either No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan (37-2) or 13th-ranked Grand View (30-10).

Central Methodist won its pool 3-0, but needed five sets to beat 23rd-ranked Bellevue (28-10) — a team the V-Hawks lost to 3-2 back on Oct. 4 and beat 3-1 on Nov. 1 — and No. 5 Southern Oregon (31-4).

Another comparable, Central Methodist capped off its conference tournament just before the NAIAs, beating No. 11 Grand View, 3-2. Viterbo lost to Grand View 3-2 back on Oct. 11.