Washington headed to Final Four in NCAA Tournament
For the fourth-consecutive year, a Pac-12 team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals as third-seeded WASHINGTON swept Kansas and pulled off a dramatic comeback victory over sixth-seeded USC to earn a trip back to Seattle. It is the first trip to the national semifinals for the Huskies since 2006 and fourth for the program overall ... UW hosts the final two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Seattle and takes on second-seeded Penn State in semifinal action on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m. PT. Should the Huskies win, they would play the winner of the semifinal match between top-seeded Texas and 12th-seeded Wisconsin in the national championship game on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. PT. All matches from KeyArena will be televised live on ESPN2.
The Pac-12 boasts a record 14 NCAA titles in women’s volleyball. UW’s appearance in the national semifinals marks the 30th time in the history of the NCAA Championships at least one league squad has advanced that far. The last team to win a NCAA title was UCLA in 2011.
A league-record nine Pac-12 volleyball teams earned NCAA Tournament bids, the most of any conference in the nation ... WASHINGTON is the top-seeded team in the Pac-12, earning a No. 3 seeding. Also seeded are No. 6 USC and No. 7 STANFORD ... ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA and OREGON all make consecutive tournament appearances, while ARIZONA, COLORADO and UTAH return to the NCAAs for the first time since 2011, 2006 and 2008, respectively ... Pac-12 teams went an astounding 8-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this year, winning in dominating fashion. League teams won 26 of 31 sets played in the first round. Collectively, the Conference has posted an 15-8 record so far in the tournament ... USC and STANFORD made it as far as the regional finals before the Trojans fell to Pac-12 foe Washington and the Cardinal suffered a tough 3-2 loss to Penn State ... At least one Pac-12 team has advanced to the regional finals in every year of the NCAA Tournament.
League coaches voted UW’s Krista Vansant the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year of honors went to USC’s Ebony Nwanebu. Stanford’s Madi Bugg was tabbed the Pac-12 Setter of the Year, while USC’s Natalie Hagglund was voted the Pac-12 Libero of the Year for the third-straight year. UW’s Jim McLaughlin was voted the Pac-12 Coach of the Year.