Stanford Earns No. 4 Seed; Opens 2009 NCAA Tournament With Long Island

Nov. 29, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford women's volleyball team (21-7) will begin its quest for the program's seventh NCAA title at home this week, as the squad earned the No. 4 overall seed in the 2009 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship and was selected to host the first and second rounds. The Cardinal will be the No. 1 seed in the Stanford Regional and will face Long Island (21-13) at Maples Pavilion, Friday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.

Stanford will be making its 29th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and is one of just two teams to have made it to all 29 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships. The Cardinal will be seeking its seventh NCAA title, 19th Final Four trip and 15th appearance in the national title match.

Last season, Stanford advanced to the championship match for the third straight year, but dropped the title match to Penn State. Under ninth-year head coach John Dunning, Stanford has reached six of the last eight NCAA title matches and won two national championships.

Should Stanford advance, the team will remain home as it hosts the Stanford Regional Dec. 11-12. The 2009 Final Four will be held at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay, Fla., Dec. 17-19.

The Cardinal wrapped up the regular season on Friday night with a 21-7 overall record. Stanford sealed its unprecedented 13th Pac-10 Championship with a thrilling come-from-behind five-set win over rival California to earn the league's automatic berth to the 64-team tournament.

Stanford will play its first round match at 7 p.m. on Friday at Maples Pavilion against Long Island. The Blackbirds won Northeast Conference for the sixth straight year and earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

Saint Mary's (22-4) and UC Santa Barbara (22-7) will meet in the other first round matchup at Maples Pavilion on Friday at 5 p.m. The Gaels won its first West Coast Conference title for the automatic bid, while the Gauchos finished second in the Big West and received an at-large bid to the tournament. The winners of the Stanford-Long Island match and the Saint Mary's-UCSB match will meet Saturday at 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.

Tickets are available online at www.GoStanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.

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