NCAA Volleyball Begins on Thursday
Dec. 3, 2008
Five Big Ten volleyball teams advanced to the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee announced on Sunday. Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue are all among the field of 64 set to vie for the national title.
Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue all received top-10 seeds and will host first- and second-round competition. With four, the Big Ten has more top-10 seeds than any other conference in the country.
Leading the Big Ten contingent is Penn State, the No. 1 overall seed, who finished the season with a perfect 32-0 overall record, becoming the first team in NCAA Division I, II or III history to complete the regular season without dropping a single set.
The Nittany Lions will host Long Island (19-11) at 6 p.m. ET on Friday to open NCAA play, and with a win would play the winner of the Yale (20-5) vs. Ohio (24-7) match on Saturday at 4 p.m. Defending national champion Penn State is one of just two programs to earn a bid to all 28 NCAA volleyball championships. The Nittany Lions were already pre-selected to host NCAA Regional competition on Dec. 12 and 13.
Seeded sixth overall, Minnesota (26-6) will open play against North Dakota State (24-3) Friday at 7 p.m. CT. With a win, the Golden Gophers would advance to play UNI (25-8) or Iowa State (19-12) on Saturday at 7 p.m. Minnesota is making its 10th straight NCAA appearance and is enjoying its second-highest seed in program history. The Gophers are hosting first- and second-round action for the first time since 2003.
Illinois (24-7) claimed the No. 9 overall seed and will play host to UW-Milwaukee on Friday at 7 p.m. CT in opening-round action. A win would pit the Fighting Illini against either Cincinnati (26-6) or Western Kentucky (26-9) at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Illinois is making its 17th overall appearance and first since 2004. The Illini are hosting first and second rounds for the first time since 2003.
Purdue (24-8) was awarded with the No. 10 seed and will host Louisville (19-10) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in West Lafayette in the first round. An opening-round win would face the Boilermakers against Middle Tennessee State (26-7) or Miami (Ohio) (21-11) on Saturday at 5 p.m. Purdue is making its fifth consecutive appearance in the tournament and its 12th overall.
Michigan (24-8) will open its postseason at Kentucky (26-5) in Lexington at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday and could advance to take on either No. 13-seed St. Louis (28-4) or Alabama A&M (14-16) on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The Wolverines earned their ninth overall bid into the tournament and their third consecutive.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
And Then There Were Five
Take a Seed
There’s No Place Like Home
On the Prowl
Been There. Done That.
A Winning Tradition
Home Court Advantage