Seven Pac-12 volleyball teams earn NCAA bids
SAN FRANCISCO - Co-Pac-12 Champion USC earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament headlining seven league teams that earned trips to the postseason event, the NCAA Division I Volleyball Committee announced on Sunday night. Four Pac-12 teams also earned a top-16 seeding and will host first- and second-round matches. The NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 3-5.
Co-Pac-12 Champion USC is the No. 1 overall seed marking the second-straight year a Pac-12 team has nabbed the top seed in the event. After going 16-16 last season and receiving a No. 22 preseason ranking this year, the Trojans have bounced back to post a 30-2 overall record, winning its fifth Conference crown in school history and first since 2011. USC plays Cleveland State (26-6) in the first round at home, and also hosts Northern Arizona (28-4) vs. San Diego (21-9) on Thursday night. The winners of both matches play on Friday for the right to play in semifinal of the San Diego Regional.
Co-Pac-12 WASHINGTON garnered the No. 5 seed and is in the Lexington Regional. The Huskies take on the Summit League Champion Denver (27-7) on Friday night. Despite the change in leadership with head coach Keegan Cook taking over the reigns over the summer, UW has been in the top five in the country in eight of the last nine weeks. The Huskies also host the first-round match on Friday between Michigan State (18-13) and Arkansas State (28-1), who has just one loss on the season with 28 wins. The winners play on Saturday in the second round.
STANFORD (22-6) is the No. 8 overall seed and hosts New Mexico State (28-5) on Friday. The Cardinal finished third in the Pac-12 just two matches out of first place. Stanford is one of only two teams in the nation to participate in all 35 tournaments all-time. Playing in the San Diego Regional, the winner of the Stanford-NMSU matchup takes on the winner of the Loyola Marymount (22-8)-Colorado State (26-3) matchup on Saturday night.
UCLA (23-7) is the No. 14 seed overall and makes its 33rd all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bruins host and play Lipscomb (23-8) on Friday night in the first round, while Michigan (19-12) and Santa Clara (22-8) also play their first-round matches in Los Angeles. The winners play in the second round on Saturday for a spot in the Austin Regional. The Bruins are the Conference’s last NCAA Champion winning in 2011.
ARIZONA makes its third-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and heads to Provo, Utah, on Friday night to take on Conference USA Champion Western Kentucky (31-3). The Wildcats finished seventh in the Conference and went 19-13 overall. If the Wildcats move on, they could face No. 13-seed and host BYU (26-3), who faces Ohio (25-7) in the first round, on Saturday night to get to Lexington.
In the Austin Regional, ARIZONA STATE (19-12) is making a fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance for only the third time in program history. The Sun Devils open NCAA Tournament action against Florida State (24-7) in Gainesville, Fla., on Thursday. ASU could see New Hampshire (21-8) or No. 11-seed Florida (22-6) on Friday night.
Making a fifth-straight appearance after going 16-13 overall and 10-10 in Conference play to finish sixth in the Pac-12, OREGON goes to Madison, Wis., to face the No. 6-seed Badgers (24-6) on Thursday night. Should the Ducks pull the upset, they would face the winner of the Iowa State (18-10)-Miami (Fla.) (21-9) on Friday night to get to Austin, Texas, for the semifinal regional.
The Pac-12 owns a record 14 NCAA Tournament titles in the sport of women’s volleyball and looks to add to that total. The four NCAA Regional Tournaments will be played on Dec. 11 and 12, with the national semifinal taking place on Dec. 17 and the national champion being determined on Dec. 19 at Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
For more information on the NCAA Tournament, visit ncaa.com.
2015 Division I NCAA Volleyball Championship
Thursday-Friday, December 3-4
Northern Arizona (28-4) vs. San Diego (21-9), 3:30 p.m. PT
No. 1 USC (30-2) vs. Cleveland State (26-6), 7:30 p.m. PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Galen Center) - San Diego Regional
Loyola Marymount (22-8) vs. Colorado State (26-3), 4:30 p.m. PT
No. 8 Stanford (22-6) vs. New Mexico State (28-5), 7 p.m. PT
Stanford, Calif. - San Diego Regional
Arizona State (19-12) vs. Florida State (24-7), 1:30 p.m. PT
No. 11 Florida (22-6) vs. New Hampshire (21-8), 4 p.m. PT
Gainesville, Fla. - Austin Regional
Iowa State (18-10) vs. Miami (Fla.) (21-9), 3 p.m. PT
Oregon (16-13) vs. No. 6 Wisconsin (24-6), 5:30 p.m. PT
Madison, Wis. - Austin Regional
Friday-Saturday, December 4-5
Arkansas State (28-1) vs. Michigan State (18-13), 5 p.m. PT
No. 2 Washington (28-2) vs. Denver (27-7), 7:30 p.m. PT
Alaska Airlines Arena, Seattle, Wash. - Lexington Regional
Arizona (19-13) vs. Western Kentucky (31-3), 4 p.m. PT
No. 13 BYU (26-3) vs. Ohio (25-7), 6 p.m. PT
Provo, Utah - Lexington Regional
Michigan (19-12) vs. Santa Clara (22-8), 5:30 p.m. PT
No. 14 UCLA (23-7) vs. Lipscomb (23-8), 8 p.m. PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion) - Austin Regional