Dec. 1, 2013
Rosemont, Ill. -
The Big Ten will be well-represented at the 2013 NCAA Volleyball Championship, as eight conference teams have been selected to the tournament’s field of 64. The eight chosen squads ties the Big Ten record for most teams sent to the national tournament which happened four other times (1999, 2002, 2010, 2011).
Big Ten Champion Penn State enters the tournament as the No. 2 overall seed, while No. 8 Nebraska, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 13 Illinois have each earned top-16 seeds. Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue also received bids to round out the Big Ten contingent in the tournament.
After winning its 10th Big Ten title in the last 11 years and receiving the conference’s automatic berth, Penn State will host first- and second round matches and will take on LIU Brooklyn in Friday’s first round of the Lexington Regional. The Nittany Lions would take on either Utah or Yale in the second round with a first-round win. The selection marks Penn State’s 33rd tournament appearance.
Nebraska earns its 32nd consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship and will host Fairfield in the Lincoln Regional on Friday. With a win, the Huskers would meet Miami (Fla.) or Oregon in the second round.
Minnesota enters the tournament as an opening-round site, welcoming Radford to Minneapolis for the first round on Friday. The Golden Gophers earned a berth to the tournament for the 15th consecutive season and 19th overall and would take on either Colorado or Iowa State in round two of the Lexington Regional.
Wisconsin makes its 17th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championship and first since 2007, taking on Milwaukee on Friday in Madison, Wis., as part of the Champaign Regional. The winner of the match will advance to take on North Carolina or California.
Michigan travels to Seattle, for its first-round match in the Los Angeles Regional against LSU on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The NCAA bid marks the Wolverines’ eighth in a row and 14th all-time. Michigan would advance to play No. 3 Washington or Alabama State with a first-round win.
Michigan State earns its third consecutive postseason berth and 16th in program history and will take on Ohio in Lexington, Ky., in Friday’s first round of the Lexington Regional. The Spartans would meet either No. 15 Kentucky or Duquesne in Round 2 with a win.
Purdue enters the field of 64 for the ninth time in the last 10 years and 16th overall and will take on Central Arkansas in Columbia, Mo., in the opening round of the tournament on Friday. The Boilermakers would take on either IUPUI or No. 4 Missouri in the second round of the Champaign Regional with a first-round win.
Illinois, which earned a No. 13 seed, will entertain Morehead State at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. With a first-round win, Illinois would face Louisville or Marquette in the second round of the Champaign Regional. The Illini are making their 21st appearance in the national tournament and fifth in the last six years.
First and second-round matches will take place on campus sites on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while regionals will be played at one of four sites on Dec. 13 and 14. Regional winners will advance to Seattle, to compete in the national semifinals on Dec. 19, with the national championship set for Dec. 21.