Sixth-ranked Cardinal Women Face Sacramento State In NCAA First Round

Nov. 30, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee announced today the 64-team field for the 2003 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. Thirty-one conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 33 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket.

Stanford has been selected as a host site for NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball First and Second Rounds as the 64-team field was announced this evening. The Cardinal (23-6) earned the fifth seed overall and will take on Sacramento State (23-11) in the first round. San Francisco (23-7) will face Pacific (17-13) in the other first round match up at Maples Pavilion. Stanford first round matchups will take place on Thursday, December 4 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. while the second round match will be held on Friday, December 5 at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.

'We had to improve and work like crazy the last month to get the benefit of a high seed,' said head volleyball coach John Dunning. 'We're very happy to be playing at home. We've fought our way through one of the tougher schedules in the nation to prepare for NCAAs and, at this point, hope to keep improving.'

The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were Southern California, Hawaii, Florida and Pepperdine.

Team pairings were determined by geographical proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during the first and second rounds.

The Big Ten led all conferences with seven teams selected. Four conferences landed six teams including the Big 12, Big West, Pacific-10 and West Coast. Four teams Pacific (California), Penn State, Stanford and UC Santa Barbara have earned bids to all 23 championships. Ten teams are making their initial appearances in the tournament: Dayton, Kansas, Murray State, New Mexico State, Nicholls State, Ohio, St. Mary's (California), San Francisco, Valparaiso and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

In the 23-year history of the championship nine schools have been crowned champion, all of which are in this year's bracket, including the defending champion Southern California.

Additional past winners making the field are Stanford (1992, 94, 96, 97, 2001), Hawaii (1982, 83, 87), Long Beach State (1989, 93, 98), UCLA (1984, 90, 91), Pacific (California) (1985, 86), Nebraska (1995 and 2000), Southern California (1981, 2002) and Penn State (1999).

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