Six Pac-10 Teams Earn NCAA Volleyball Tournament Bids

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Six Pac-10 teams earned bids into the 2010 Division I NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship, the NCAA Volleyball Selection Committee announced today. The top 16 seeds were also announced and among those were three Pac-10 squads, including third overall seed STANFORD, No. 6-seeded USC and 7th-seeded CALIFORNIA. First and second rounds of NCAA Tournament play begins Thursday, Dec. 2 and Friday, Dec. 3.

Joining the Cardinal (24-3), Trojans (25-4) and Golden Bears (25-3) are UCLA (21-8), Arizona (20-11) and Washington (21-8). It is the 11th-consecutive year the Pac-10 had had at least six teams earn NCAA Tournament bids. The six selections are the second most of any Conference in the country.

The top seed in the Dayton Regional, the Co-Pac-10 Champion Cardinal host the first and second rounds of the tournament, taking on America East Champion Albany (22-8). The winner of that match takes on the winner of the CS Fullerton (26-5)-Colorado State (25-4) matchup. CSF enter the tournament by way of an automatic bid after winning the Big West, while CSU captured the Mountain West Conference title.

USC is the second-highest seed in the Dayton Regional and host at-large selection New Mexico (20-9). The other first-round matchup at Galen Center is WCC Champion San Diego (23-5) vs. Long Beach State, who is an at-large team. The winners of the first-round matches face each other in the second round on Saturday, Dec. 4.

The seventh seed in the Seattle Regional, Cal captured its first-ever Pac-10 title, sharing it with Stanford, but earned the Conference's automatic bid because of tie-breaker rules. The Bears host the first and second rounds, taking on WAC Champion Utah State (24-8). Mississippi (19-10) and North Carolina (24-9) also open their postseason in Berkeley, both earned at-large bids.

Making its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the Wildcats travel to Cedar Rapids to face Northwestern (19-12), an at-large team out of the Big Ten. The winner of that match will take on the winner of the fifth-seeded Northern Iowa-Missouri matchup. UNI captured the Missouri Valley crown. The second-round winner moves on to the University Park Regional.

UCLA heads to Austin, Texas for its first-round matchup against Patriot League Champion American (29-2). In the other matchup in Austin, ninth-seeded Texas (23-5) faces off against UT-San Antonio (22-11).

Playing its first-round matchup on Thursday, Dec. 2 and hosting are the Huskies, who also host the Seattle Regional. UW opens its postseason run against Michigan (23-9), also hosting WAC regular-season champion and 15th-seeded Hawai'i (28-2). The Rainbow Wahine lost in the conference tournament title game, and its only other loss was to USC.

At least six Pac-10 teams have advanced out of the first round in each of the last six years. Pac-10 teams own a 323-157 all-time record (.673). The Cardinal have participated in the NCAA Tournament every year, making its 30th all-time appearance and are the Conference leader with six NCAA titles. The Bruins are making their 29th overall tournament appearance, with USC making its 28th. The Huskies and Bears are entering their 15th and 14th postseasons, respectively.

Teams winning both matches move on to regional play on December 10 and 11. The pre-determined regional sites are Austin, Texas; University Park, Pennsylvania; Dayton, Ohio; and Seattle, Washington. The regional winners advance to the semifinals and final hosted by the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Kansas City Sports Commission at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 16 and 18.

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