Volleyball to take on Ducks in NCAA Tournament
By ZACH BOND
INDIANAPOLIS -- After capturing its fifth Big Sky title in four years last night, the Northern Colorado volleyball team didn't have to wait long to find out it would be making the trip westward to take on the tournament's fifth-seed Oregon in Eugene, Ore.
The Bears, who won their third Big Sky Championship title less than 24 hours ago with a dramatic comeback against Idaho State, drew the Ducks matching up with the Ducks while gathering with family and friends at a "Watch Part" at Old Chicago in Greeley.
The Bears will meet up with Oregon on Friday, Nov. 30 and will be joined by Dayton (26-4) and Pepperdine (20-11). The winner of those two matches will match up in the NCAA Tournament Second Round on Saturday, Dec. 1.
"We're not just excited to be in the tournament, we want to draw a good seed where we can win a first round match," Northern Colorado Lyndsey Oates said. "That was our goal at the beginning of the season: to make it further than any other team has here. We want to win a First Round match. Oregon is going to be a tough draw. That's not an easy matchup, but we're going to scout them and be prepared. Anything can happen and that's why you play the game."
The Ducks will come into the tournament ranked No. 6 in the latest AVCA Coaches' Poll and finished second in the vaunted Pac 12 with a 25-4 overall record and 16-4 conference mark.
The Bears have played Oregon just once in their history. In 2004, the year before Oates became the head coach in Greeley, the Bears fell 3-1 to the Ducks in Portland, Ore. during the Viking Volleyball Showcase.
Northern Colorado has played in two NCAA Tournaments in the last three years. Last season, the Bears traveled to Hawaii and were swept by the No. 3 ranked Rainbow Wahine in the First Round. In 2009, Northern Colorado made its first Division I NCAA Tournament and lost to Washington in Fort Collins, Colo.
The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Nebraska. Per the established bracketing principles, the top 16 seeds were provided the opportunity to host. In addition, first- and second-round conference matchups were avoided, and team pairings were determined by geographical proximity.
Teams winning both matches next weekend will move on to regional play December 7 and 8. The pre-determined regional sites are West Lafayette, Ind.; Omaha, Neb.; Austin, Texas; and Berkeley, Calif..
The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final on Dec. 13 and 15 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. Both national semifinal games as well as the championship game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
All regional and championship site game times can be found on the attached championship bracket or online at www.ncaa.com/wvb.
For more information about the championship, log on to www.ncaa.com/wvb.
2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship First/Second Round Matches
All times are Mountain.
November 30 and December 1 at Eugene, Oregon
Dayton (26-4) vs. Pepperdine (20-11) at 6:30 p.m.
No. 5 Oregon vs. Northern Colorado (24-10) at 9 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Provo, Utah
Oklahoma (21-10) vs. Arizona State (20-13) at 5 p.m.
No. 12 BYU (26-3) vs. New Mexico State (22-10) at 7 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Seattle, Washington
Hawai'i (25-2) vs. Santa Clara (20-11) at 6 p.m.
No. 13 Washington (23-6) vs. Central Arkansas (30-4) at 8 p.m.
November 29 and 30 at Lincoln, Nebraska
Kansas State (21-8) vs. Northern Iowa (24-9) at 3:30 p.m.
No. 4 Nebraska vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (28-5) at 6 p.m.
WEST LAFAYETTE REGIONAL
November 30 and December 1 at University Park, Pennsylvania
Bowling Green (21-10) vs. Yale (18-5) at 3 p.m.
No. 1 Penn State (29-2) vs. Binghamton (13-17) at 5:30 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Lexington, Kentucky
Ohio State (22-10) vs. Notre Dame (20-9) at 3 p.m.
No. 16 Kentucky (20-10) vs. East Tennessee State (23-12) at 5:30 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Tallahassee, Florida
Purdue (21-10) vs. Colorado State (21-7) at 2:30 p.m.
No. 9 Florida State (27-3) vs. Hofstra (21-13) at 4:30 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Minneapolis, Minnesota
Creighton (28-3) vs. Marquette (27-6) at 3:30 p.m.
No. 8 Minnesota (24-7) vs. Liberty (25-7) at 5:30 p.m.
November 29 at 30 at Austin, Texas
Texas A&M (24-5) vs. North Carolina State (22-9) at 3 p.m.
No. 3 Texas (23-4) vs. Colgate (17-13) at 6 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Gainesville, Florida
Miami (FL) (25-5) vs. College of Charleston (26-7) at 3 p.m.
No. 14 Florida (25-4) vs. Tulsa (26-9) at 5:30 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Lawrence, Kansas
Arkansas (22-9) vs. Wichita State (22-9) at 3 p.m.
No. 11 Kansas (25-6) vs. Cleveland State (23-6) at 5:30 p.m.
November 29 and 30 at Los Angeles, California
St. Mary's (CA) (17-10) vs. San Diego State (23-7) at 6 p.m.
No. 6 Southern California (27-5) vs. Fairfield (22-8) at 8:30 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Los Angeles, California
San Diego (21-6) vs. Michigan State (23-9) at 6:30 p.m.
No. 7 UCLA (22-7) vs. LIU Brooklyn (25-7) at 9 p.m.
November 29 and 30 at Louisville, Kentucky
Tennessee (22-7) vs. Michigan (23-11) at 3 p.m.
No. 10 Louisville (29-3) vs. Belmont (18-16) at 5:30 p.m.
November 29 and 30 at Ames, Iowa
North Carolina (25-5) vs. California (15-15) at 4 p.m.
No. 15 Iowa State (20-7) vs. IPFW (25-6) at 6:30 p.m.
November 30 and December 1 at Palo Alto, California
Western Kentucky (32-3) vs. Loyola Marymount (18-12) at 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Stanford (27-3) vs. Jackson State (24-11) at 9 p.m.