Minnesota has been chosen to host the 2014 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Regionals according to an announcement by the NCAA. It will mark the fifth time that the Minnesota volleyball program will host the NCAA Regionals.
The Golden Gophers had already been chosen to host the 2011 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Regionals on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 by the NCAA. When Minnesota hosts the NCAA Regionals in 2011, it will mark the fourth time in school history it has done so.
Minnesota received the NCAA Regional in 2014 as part of announcements filling every regional host from 2012-14. Earlier this year, the NCAA revealed that Dayton, Penn State, Texas and Washington will host the NCAA Regionals in 2010. The NCAA also revealed that Florida, Hawai'i Kentucky and Minnesota would be regional hosts in 2011.
The NCAA also revealed that California, Nebraska, Purdue and Texas will host regionals in 2012. Florida, Illinois, Kentucky and USC have been tabbed to host regionals in 2013. Minnesota will be joined by Iowa State, Louisville and Washington as regional hosts in 2014.
Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas and Washington are the only schools set to host NCAA Regionals twice during the 2010-14 span.
The Golden Gophers hosted the NCAA Regionals in 2009, and advanced to the National Semifinals after defeating Colorado State (3-1) in the Regional Semifinals and Florida State (3-1) in the Regional Finals.
Prior to 2009, the last time the Golden Gophers hosted the NCAA Regionals was in 2004. In the 2004 NCAA Regionals, Ohio State rallied from down 2-0 to defeated Tennessee. That round also produced a match that saw Minnesota claim a five-set victory over Georgia Tech, which included the longest game in NCAA Tournament history when the Golden Gophers dropped the fourth game to the Yellow Jackets 48-46.
In the Regional Finals, the Golden Gophers claimed a second straight bid to the National Semifinals as it defeated Ohio State in front of raucous crowd at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota went on to face Stanford in the National Championship that year.
Minnesota also hosted the NCAA Regionals at Williams Arena in 1993 where it dropped a five-set match to Notre Dame in the NCAA Regional Semifinals.
The Golden Gophers have a 4-0 record the last two times they have hosted the NCAA Regionals in the Sports Pavilion. On both occasions, they advanced to the National Semifinals.
In 2010, all four of the regional sites will feed into National Semifinals, which will take place in Kansas City, Mo. at the Sprint Center. The 2011 NCAA Regionals will feed into the National Semifinals in San Antonio, Texas at the Alamodome.
Last year Minnesota advanced to the National Semifinals for third time in school history. With the trip to the National Semifinals, the Golden Gophers became one of six programs in the nation to make three or more appearances since 2003. Minnesota has participated in the National Semifinals in 2003, 2004 and 2009, and competed in the NCAA Regionals in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009 under current head coach Mike Hebert.
“We are extremely excited to be able host the 2011 and 2014 NCAA Regionals,” said Hebert. “It is a tremendous compliment to be awarded two NCAA Regionals in a four-year span. When we hosted the NCAA Regionals in 2004 and 2009, it was an event that created a great deal of excitement in this area. We continue to be extremely proud of how our team, community and staff have represented themselves during the NCAA Regionals we have hosted, and we are honored to continue to receive the opportunity to host this prestigious event. We would also like to thank Associate Athletic Director Marc Ryan and all the people who helped prepare the bid to help make this opportunity possible."