Nov. 25, 2012
The University of Minnesota volleyball team (24-7, 15-5 in the Big Ten) will host the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament at the Sports Pavilion, Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Minnesota will face Liberty (25-7, 12-2 in the Big South) on Friday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. Prior to the Gopher/Liberty match will be Creighton (28-3) and Marquette (27-6) contest, at 4:30 p.m. The winners of the first two matches will face each other on Dec. 1, 6 p.m., for the NCAA Second Round, also at the Sports Pavilion. This marks the fourth time in five years the Gophers will host the First and Second Rounds.
Minnesota is the overall No. 8 seed in the 64-field tournament (only top 16 teams are seeded). Minnesota is in the lower portion of the West Lafayette Region, which also includes Big Ten opponents No. 1 Penn State, Ohio State and Purdue. Also seeded in the West Lafayette Region is No. 9 seed Florida State and No. 16 seed Kentucky. Stanford was awarded the No. 2 seed and the top spot in the Berkeley Region (Calif.). Texas is the No. 3 seed in the Austin (Texas) Regional. Nebraska was the No. 4 seed out of the Omaha (Nebraska) Regional. The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by the University of Louisville and the Louisville Sports Commission at the KFC Yumi Center in Louisville, Ky., December 13 and 15.
The Big Ten Conference and Pacific-12 Conference led all conferences with seven teams each. Along with the four in the West Lafayette Region and Nebraska as the overall No. 4 seed in Omaha, Michigan State and Michigan also made it into the NCAA tournament in the California Region.
Minnesota’s first opponent, Liberty, earned an automatic qualifying bid by winning the Big South Volleyball Championship over Coastal Carolina Nov. 18. It marked the second-straight Big South title for the Lady Flames. They finished the regular season with a 25-7 record and a 12-2 mark in league action. They enter the tournament on a 10-match win streak.
Tickets for the First and Second Rounds go on sale online at 5 p.m. tonight through mygophersports.
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