Seven Pac-12 volleyball teams earn NCAA bids
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Seven Pac-12 teams earned bids into the 2012 Division I NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship, the NCAA Volleyball Selection Committee announced today. Five of the Pac-12 teams selected were among the top-16 seeds that were also announced, including No. 2 STANFORD, No. 5 OREGON, No. 6 USC, No. 7 seed UCLA and No. 13 WASHINGTON. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament begin Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
In addition to the five seeded Pac-12 teams, ARIZONA STATE and CALIFORNIA will also be competing for the 2012 national championship. It is the 13th-consecutive year the Conference has had at least six teams earn NCAA Tournament bids. The seven selections are tied for the most in the country with the Big Ten's. It is also the most for the Pac-12 since receiving eight selections in 2008.
The 2012 Pac-12 Champion STANFORD Cardinal (27-3) earned the highest seeing of any league team. The No. 2 seed in the Berkeley Regional, the Cardinal will host Jackson State (24-11) in the first round on Friday. The winner of that match will play the winner of the Western Kentucky (32-3)-Loyola Marymount (18-12) matchup on Saturday. Stanford is one of only two teams in the country to earn bids to all 32 NCAA Tournaments.
OREGON (25-4) finished second in the Pac-12 this season, the program's best-ever finish in the league standings. The fifth seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Ducks will host Northern Colorado (24-10), and Pepperdine (20-11) vs. Dayton (26-4) on Friday in the first round. The winners of those matches play on Saturday for the right to go to Omaha for the regional semifinals.
USC (27-5) is the lone Pac-12 team in the Austin Regional. The No. 5 seed overall, the Trojans have made back-to-back trips to the national semifinals and are looking to go even deeper this season. USC begins its title run hosting Fairfield (22-8) in the first round, with Saint Mary's (17-10) and San Diego State (23-7) also playing their first-round match at Galen Center on Thursday. The winners play the second-round match on Friday.
Defending NCAA Champion UCLA (22-7) is the seventh seed overall and in the Berkeley Regional. It will also host a first-round match, taking on LIU-Brooklyn (25-7) on Friday. The Bruins are making their 31st all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, only missing the event in 1996. UCLA will host Michigan State (23-9) and San Diego (21-6). The second-round match at Pauley Pavilion is scheduled for Saturday.
The 13th seed and in the Omaha Region, WASHINGTON (23-6) takes on Central Arkansas (30-4), who is making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, in the first round on its home court. The Huskies will also welcome Hawai'i (25-2) and Santa Clara (20-11) on Friday with the winners of the matches playing on Saturday in the second round.
ARIZONA STATE is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006 and the team's first appearance under head coach Jason Watson. The Sun Devils finished the season with a 20-13 record, the team's first 20-win season since 1993. ASU travels to Provo, Utah, to take on Oklahoma (21-10). The winner of that match will take on the winner of No. 12-seed BYU (26-3) and New Mexico State (22-10). The first-round match in Provo is scheduled for Friday, with the second round being played the following day.
Rounding out the list of selections is CALIFORNIA. The Golden Bears finished the season at 15-15 with two notable upsets this season. Battling injuries all season, Cal upended then-No. 6 Hawai'i in Honolulu in five sets early in the 2012 campaign, and then posted a big road victory over then-No. 2 Oregon on Nov. 2. The Bears travel to Ames, Iowa to face North Carolina (25-5) on Thursday. The winner will face the winner of the No. 15-seed Iowa State (20-7)-IPFW (25-6) on Friday.
The national semifinals and championship matches are being held at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. on Dec. 13 and 15. All matches from Louisville will be televised on ESPN2.
2012 Division NCAA Volleyball Championship
Friday & Saturday, November 30 & December 1 - First & Second Rounds
#2 STANFORD (27-3) vs. Jackson State (24-11), 8 p.m. PT
Western Kentucky (32-3) vs. Loyola Marymount (18-12), 5:30 p.m. PT
Berkeley Regional, at Stanford, Calif.
#5 OREGON (25-4) vs. Northern Colorado (24-10), 8 p.m. PT
Pepperdine (20-11) vs. Dayton (26-4), 5:30 p.m. PT
Omaha Regional, at Eugene, Ore.
#13 WASHINGTON (23-6) vs. Central Arkansas (30-4), 7 p.m. PT
Santa Clara (20-11) vs. Hawai'i (25-2), 5 p.m. PT
Omaha Regional, at Seattle
#7 UCLA (22-7) vs. LIU-Brooklyn (25-7), 8 p.m. PT
Michigan State (23-9) vs. San Diego (21-9)
Berkeley Regional, at Los Angeles
ARIZONA STATE (20-13) vs. Oklahoma (21-10), 4 p.m. PT
#12 BYU (26-3) vs. New Mexico State (22-10), 6 p.m. PT
Omaha Regional, at Provo, Utah
Thursday & Friday, November 29 & 30 - First & Second Rounds
#6 USC (27-5) vs. Fairfield (22-8), 7:30 p.m. PT
Saint Mary's (Calif.) (17-10) vs. San Diego State (23-7), 5 p.m. PT
Austin Regional, at Los Angeles
CALIFORNIA (15-15) vs. North Carolina (25-5), 3 p.m. PT
#12 Iowa State (20-7) vs. IPFW (25-6), 5:30 p.m. PT
Berkeley Regional, at Ames, Iowa
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