Six Big Ten Volleyball Teams to Play in NCAA Championship
Nov. 29, 2009
PARK RIDGE, Ill. – Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State will compete in the 2009 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship, the NCAA Division I Volleyball Committee announced today. This year marks the 11th season in the past 12 that the Big Ten has placed six or more teams in the NCAA bracket.
The two-time defending NCAA Champions, Penn State earned the No. 1 overall seed after finishing the season 32-0 and earning its seventh straight and 13th overall Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions are one of only two teams to have advanced to all 29 NCAA Championships and will face Binghamton (15-15) in the first round on Friday at home. A win would face Penn State with either Army (26-5) or Penn (22-5). The Nittany Lions are playing in the Gainesville, Fla., Regional.
Illinois earned the No. 5 overall seed and will host first- and second-round action on Thursday and Friday. The Illini (24-5) open with IPFW (20-11) and would take on either Milwaukee (16-14) or Dayton (29-3) with a first-round victory. Illinois is competing in the Stanford, Calif., Regional and is making its second consecutive and 18th overall appearance in the NCAA bracket.
The No. 11 overall seed, Minnesota goes on the road to open NCAA action, first facing Louisville (21-10) in Knoxville, Tenn., on Friday. A win would pit the Golden Gophers (24-8) with Duke (27-5) or Tennessee (23-7). Minnesota is playing for the right to return home, competing in the Minneapolis, Minn., Regional. This marks the 11th consecutive NCAA appearance for the Gophers.
Michigan garnered the No. 13 seed in the bracket and will open with Niagara (23-8) at home on Friday. With a win, the Wolverines would advance to play either Ohio (26-6) or Notre Dame (21-6) for the right to advance in the Stanford, Calif., Regional. Michigan is making its fourth straight and 10th overall NCAA appearance.
Michigan State earns its 13th overall bid to the NCAA Championship and its third in the last four years. The Spartans go on the road to face Kentucky (27-4) in Lexington on Friday. With a win, the Spartans (17-15) would face either Clemson (23-9) or No. 14 Oregon (19-9) in order to advance in the Minneapolis, Minn., Regional.
Rounding out the Big Ten’s representation, Ohio State will be playing in its first NCAA Championship since 2006. The Buckeyes (24-9) will host first- and second-round action on Friday and Saturday, opening with Cincinnati (25-10). A win would put Ohio State up against either No. 9 California (18-10) or Lipscomb (28-3) for the right to advance in the Gainesville, Fla., Regional.
The Big Ten is tied with the Big 12 for second in the nation with six teams competing in the NCAA Championship, trailing only the Pac-10’s eight selections. The conference stands alone in second with four national seeds, behind only the Pac-10’s total of five.
The Big Ten’s complete first- and second-round schedule can be found below.
Dec. 4-5 at University Park, Pa.
Dec. 4-5 at Columbus, Ohio
STANFORD, CALIF., REGIONAL
Dec. 3-4 at Champaign, Ill.
Dec. 4-5 at Ann Arbor, Mich.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., REGIONAL
Dec. 4-5 at Lexington, Ky.
Dec. 4-5 at Knoxville, Tenn.