Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 15
The University of Hawai’i is headed to its 35th overall and 24th straight NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Championship with a trip to Minneosta to battle USC in first round action as announced by NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee today. Hawai’i earned the conference’s automatic bid to the postseason after posting a near-perfect 15-1 conference mark to claim its ninth Big West title, fourth since rejoining the league five years ago.
Thirty-two conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 32 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket. The top-16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 4 Texas.
The Rainbow Wahine of Hawai’i (22-5) are set to travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for first & second round action, along with host and No. 2-seeded Minnesota (25-4), USC (18-13) and North Dakota (26-9). For their first round matchup, the Rainbow Wahine drew the Women of Troy, who are an at-large team from the Pac-12. The two teams take to the court Friday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific) with the winner advancing to the second round to face the victor of Big Ten at-large selection Gophers and the Big Sky regular season and tournament champion Fighting Hawks. Minnesota is 13-0 on its home court this season.
Hawai’i is 29-19 all-time against the three teams that are headed to the Sports Pavilion. While the Rainbow Wahine and Fighting Hawks have never met on the court, UH has met USC 40 times and own a 22-18 record. They also sport an impressive 7-1 mark against the Golden Gophers. The team to make it out of this weekend’s event unscathed faces the winner from the Penn State qualifier in Des Moines, Iowa, for regional action.
Per the established bracketing principles the top 16 seeds were provided the opportunity to host. Additionally, team pairings were determined by geographic proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during the first- and second-rounds.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 led all leagues with eight teams selected from their conferences to compete in the championship tournament. The Big 12 Conference was third with six programs advancing to the tournament. Pennsylvania State University and Stanford University are the only two teams that have earned berths to all 36 championship tournaments. Three programs are making their first appearances in the tournament: University of North Dakota, Boise State University and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
During the previous 35 years of the championship 10 schools have won a national title, eight of which earned a place in this year’s bracket.
First- and second-round matches will be played December 1-3 at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play December 9 and 10. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites, which will be announced after play concludes, on December 3. At each site, four teams will compete in single-elimination regional semifinal competition. All regional semifinal matches will be shown on ESPN3. Regional final matches will air on ESPNU.
The regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final co-hosted by the Ohio State University and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on December 15 and 17. Both national semifinal matches as well as the championship match will be broadcast by ESPN2. All regional and championship site match times can be found on the attached championship bracket or online at www.ncaa.com/wvb.