The UNI volleyball team learned its NCAA Tournament destination and opponent Sunday evening (Nov. 25, 2018).

The Panthers are heading to Madison, Wis., to play Pepperdine in a first-round match at 5 PM on Thursday. The match will be part of a doubleheader played at the University of Wisconsin's Fieldhouse. The other match will feature the host Badgers taking on Green Bay at 7 PM.

UNI earned an automatic bid into the 64-team National Championship event by winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title on Saturday. The Panthers defeated Illinois State, 3-1, to earn their first league title in seven years.

This marks UNI’s fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Each of the last three years, the Panthers earned an at-large berth.

Coach Bobbi Petersen's team enters this year's post-season with a 24-9 record. Pepperdine finished 21-8 overall and 14-4 in the West Coast Conference.

UNI has played The Waves only three times previously, going 1-2 in those meetings. The Panthers were swept by Pepperdine in 2000, won a five-set match in 2002, and dropped a four-set decision in 2005.

This year's NCAA Tournament appearance will be the 22nd for UNI in the past 34 seasons.