Viterbo setter will play through pain Friday

    The Viterbo University volleyball team advanced to the final 12 teams in the NAIA tournament.

    The ninth-ranked V-Hawks (37-8) are seeded ninth and will play at 10 a.m. Friday against eighth-seeded Northwestern (Iowa), which is ranked seventh in the country. Six other teams play in the first round. After that, the four teams with byes will enter into the quarterfinals. 

    Viterbo setter Brianna Brinkman left Thursday's game early, but will play FridayDespite winning their first two sets and then taking the fourth-ranked Biola to the wire in each set of a 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23) loss, the V-Hawks weren't rewarded a great seed out of pool play. If the V-Hawks beat Northwestern (33-4), they will match up against top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Rocky Mountain (32-2). Biola (31-4) was given the No. 3 seed.

    The V-Hawks will have to play a doubleheader today and a doubleheader Saturday to win the whole thing.

    Viterbo setter Brianna Brinkman - the school's all-time assists leader - was forced to leave early in Thursday's loss to Biola.

    Coach Ryan DeLong said Brinkman will play through the pain with a possible "cartilage issue."

    Without Brinkman, the V-Hawks were still right in it with Biola thanks to the play of backup setter Ameilia Grahn.

    Check back at 580wkty.com here for more updates. Below is the final NAIA tournament bracket ...