Nov. 28, 2005
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee announced Sunday that six Big Ten teams were among the 64-team field selected for the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. Big Ten champion Penn State earned the conference's automatic berth after a perfect 20-0 league season, while Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin all earned at-large invitations. Four Big Ten squads earned top-16 seeds, with the Nittany Lions earning the second seed overall. Wisconsin is the 11th seed, followed by No. 13 Ohio State and No. 14 Purdue. Penn State is one of just three teams (Stanford, UC Santa Barbara) to have earned bids to all 25 championships.
For the second-straight season, Penn State (29-2, 20-0 Big Ten) enters the NCAA Championship as the No. 2 seed. The second-ranked Nittany Lions have the potential of hosting throughout regional competition as PSU and Minnesota are both in the State College (Pa.) Regional. Penn State opens against Binghamton (20-11) on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Nittany Lions reached the national championship match in three consecutive tournaments from 1997-1999. The last time Penn State went undefeated in league play was in 1999 and went on to capture the Big Ten's only national title.
No. 11 seed Wisconsin (23-6, 15-5) plays host to Horizon League tournament champion Loyola (Ill.) (13-17) in the first round on Friday at 7 p.m. CT. Loyola lost to Wisconsin, 3-0, in the first round of last year's NCAA Championship in Madison, Wis. The 13th-ranked Badgers, who make their 14th overall and 10th consecutive appearance in the NCAAs, are paired with Big Ten foes Purdue and Northwestern in the College Station (Texas) Regional.
Ohio State (21-8, 14-6), seeded 13th and ranked 19th nationally, is the lone conference team on the opposite end of the bracket and finds itself in the Palo Alto (Calif.) Regional. The Buckeyes open at home against Conference USA tournament champion Marshall (26-5) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. OSU, which makes its 14th overall NCAA appearance, has advanced to regional play nine times and was a participant in the national semifinals in 1991 and 1994.
The 14th-seeded Purdue Boilermakers, ranked 21st nationally, earn their second NCAA berth in as many years and the ninth in the program's 30-year history. Purdue will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., and battle Virginia Commonwealth at 5 p.m. on Friday. Last year's first-round matchup was a memorable one for the Boilermakers as they upset No. 9 Colorado State on its home floor in a 3-2 thriller.
Minnesota (24-7, 14-6), unseeded but ranked 17th, heads to Knoxville, Tenn., for first-round action against Winthrop (28-5) at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The Golden Gophers, who are making their 11th NCAA Championship appearance, have advanced to the national semifinals the past two seasons and were the national runner-up last year.
For the third time in the past four seasons and the seventh time overall, Northwestern (19-11, 10-10) will compete in the NCAA Championship. The Wildcats will take to the court at 4 p.m. CT on Thursday, Dec. 1, against Texas A&M (16-13) in South Bend, Ind. The Wildcats' 19-11 record is their best win total since 1988 (20-14) and their best winning percentage (.633) since the 1987 squad finished 23-10 (.697).
Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play Dec. 9 and 10. The pre-determined regional sites are Palo Alto, Calif.; Omaha, Neb.; State College, Pa.; and College Station, Texas. The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by University of Texas at San Antonio at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 15 and 17.
First- and second-round matches will be played at 16 campus sites. A list of the first-round match-ups follows.
OMAHA, NEB. REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Nebraska
Nebraska (28-1) vs. Alabama A&M (15-11)
American (25-9) vs. Duke (23-7)
December 2-3 at UCLA
UCLA (18-10) vs. Kansas (15-14)
Long Beach State (25-6) vs. San Diego (22-5)
December 2-3 at Louisville
Louisville (29-2) vs. Western Kentucky (31-2)
Kentucky (17-11) vs. Maryland (27-4)
December 1-2 at Florida
Kansas State (20-10) vs. Florida A&M (22-5)
Florida Atlantic (29-2) vs. Florida (30-2)
PALO ALTO, CALIF. REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Stanford
Stanford (25-5) vs. Nevada (18-12)
Santa Clara (23-4) vs. Sacramento State (26-8)
December 2-3 at Southern California
Pepperdine (17-11) vs. Brigham Young (25-3)
UC Santa Barbara (21-8) vs. Southern California (16-10)
December 2-3 at Ohio State
Ohio State (21-8) vs. Marshall (26-5)
Ohio (31-2) vs. Alabama (23-10)
December 2-3 at Utah
Utah (22-8) vs. Loyola Marymount (19-10)
Utah State (21-12) vs. Arizona (22-5)
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Colorado State
Washington (26-1) vs. Siena (20-11)
Colorado (15-12) vs. Colorado State (20-8)
December 2-3 at North Carolina
Purdue (23-8) vs. Virginia Commonwealth (22-11)
College of Charleston (30-1) vs. North Carolina (23-9)
December 2-3 at Wisconsin
Wisconsin (23-6) vs. Loyola (Illinois) (13-17)
Valparaiso (27-7) vs. California (18-10)
December 1-2 at Notre Dame
Northwestern (19-11) vs. Texas A&M (16-13)
Dayton (24-10) vs. Notre Dame (28-3)
STATE COLLEGE, PA. REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Texas
Hawaii (25-6) vs. Texas State (17-14)
Texas (23-4) vs. LSU (21-7)
December 2-3 at Missouri
Arkansas (20-11) vs. St. Mary's (California) (19-9)
Missouri State (24-8) vs. Missouri (22-4)
December 2-3 at Tennessee
Minnesota (24-7) vs. Winthrop (28-5)
Jacksonville State (19-10) vs. Tennessee (21-8)
December 2-3 at Penn State
Cornell (19-5) vs. Long Island (25-13)
Binghamton (20-11) vs. Penn State (29-2)