tournaMinnesota has been chosen to host the 2004 NCAA Women's Volleyball Regionals on Friday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 11 according to an announcement by the NCAA. It marks the first time since the tournament has been expanded to 64 teams that Minnesota will host the NCAA Regionals.
The four sites for the NCAA Regionals were predetermined by the NCAA. Along with Minnesota, the other three sites will be Louisville, Washington and Wisconsin-Green Bay. All four schools will still be eligible to host the first and second rounds as well. The first and second round hosts will primarily be determined by seeds and the bid process.
All four of the regional sites will feed into National Semifinals, which will take place in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention Center.
"We are excited to be selected as one of four regional site hosts for the 2004 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship" said Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi. "It goes without saying that our staff takes great pride in playing host to NCAA Championships. Coach Mike Hebert has done a fantastic job of building one of the top volleyball programs in the nation, culminating with our first-ever appearance in the NCAA semifinals this past season. We also have a knowledgeable and loyal volleyball fan following that will once again step up and enthusiastically embrace this championship."
Last year Minnesota defeated Pepperdine and Washington in a pair of neutral site matches at the NCAA Regionals in Long Beach, Calif. to advance to the Final Four for the first time in school history. The Golden Gophers are the only Final Four team from 2003 that will host an NCAA Regional in 2004. Minnesota has advanced to the NCAA Regionals in four of the last five seasons.
"The good news keeps coming for our program," said Minnesota Head Volleyball Coach Mike Hebert. "We of course, would like to be playing in it as the home team. Regardless, it is a prestigious tournament for the University of Minnesota to sponsor. I hope the Minnesota volleyball community embraces the event in a big way."