Huskies Headed To Colorado For NCAA Opener

Nov. 29, 2009

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INDIANAPOLIS - The Husky women's volleyball squad is back in the NCAA Championships for the eighth year in a row, and will be headed to Fort Collins, Colorado for the first two rounds with the opener this Thursday, December 3.

Washington (23-5, 13-5 Pac-10) is the sixth seed overall in the tournament, and will take on Northern Colorado (21-11) out of the Big Sky Conference in the first round, hosted by Colorado State at the Moby Arena. UW's match is slated for a 7:30 p.m. Mountain time.

Should the Huskies win their opener, they would face the winner of Colorado State (23-5) versus Middle Tennessee State (25-9) on Friday, Dec. 4, at 7:00 p.m. MST.

The Huskies are the second-highest seeded team in the Minneapolis Region. If the seeds held up, they would eventually face Minnesota on its home court in the Round of 16, then potentially take on No. 3 overall seed Florida State in the quarterfinals. The Final Four takes place December 17 in Tampa, Florida with the final on December 19.

The Dawgs gathered in the film room in Bank of America Arena to watch the selection show on ESPNews. The team was hoping to stay in Seattle for the first two rounds, but no other northwest teams made the field aside from Pac-10 rivals Oregon and Washington State and NCAA rules must limit travel for as many teams as possible.

'We were hoping we'd get to host, but it will be like a normal road trip and we'll prepare for it as usual,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'We've just got to prepare and get ready for Northern Colorado and see if we travel well. We'll keep the routines as normal as possible, take today off, practice tomorrow and then get ready.'

The Pacific-10 Conference led all conferences with eight teams selected. Only Oregon State and Arizona State missed out. The Big Ten Conference and the Big 12 Conference garnered six teams each in the field while the Atlantic Coast Conference has five teams in the tournament. Northern Colorado is one of five teams making its first NCAA appearance.

Last year Washington advanced to the Regional final before losing in five sets to Nebraska. The Huskies have reached at least the NCAA Quarterfinals in five of the past six years, and made three consecutive Final Fours from 2004-06, including an NCAA Championship in 2005. Of note is the fact that UW started its 2005 and 2006 Final Four runs in the state of Colorado, and were in Fort Collins in 2005.

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