Bruins Omaha Bound; Face Rider in NCAA First Round
LOS ANGELES - The 17th-ranked Bruins are headed to Omaha, Neb. for the 2020-2021 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament, as announced on Sunday. UCLA will face Rider in the First Round on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. CT at the CHI Health Center Convention Center. Next Wednesday's contest will be televised on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
The Bruins were not one of the Top 16 seeds, which earned first-round byes, but are ostensibly the 17th-seeded team, as they would match up with No. 16-seed BYU in the NCAA Second Round if they defeat Rider. The Second Round matchup would be Thursday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. CT, also on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
The entire 48-team, single-elimination tournament will be played in Omaha's "Volleybubble" at both the CHI Health Center Convention Center for the First and Second Rounds, as well as the Regional Semifinals (Sunday, April 18), and the CHI Health Center Arena for the Regional Finals (Monday, April 19), National Semifinals (Thursday, April 22) and National Championship (Saturday, April 24).
UCLA, one of five Pac-12 Conference teams in the NCAA Tournament along with No. 6-seed Washington, No. 10-seed Oregon, No. 14-seed Utah and No. 15-seed Washington State, finished the regular season with a 14-6 record and wins against each of the other four league squads joining them in Omaha.
Rider (7-4), out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, also played a league-only schedule like the Bruins. The Broncs started the season 1-4, but won six in a row, including all three matches at the MAAC Championship to earn the league's automatic bid. UCLA and Rider will be meeting for the first time.