Bison, Gophers to Meet Friday in First Round of NCAA Volleyball Tournament
Release: November 27, 2011
FARGO, N.D. - North Dakota State will play Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA Division I women's volleyball tournament at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis.
The 64-team tournament field was announced live Sunday evening on ESPNU television.
North Dakota State, 26-8 overall, has won 10 straight and 12 of its last 13 matches. Minnesota has won three straight to improve to 18-11 overall and earned the No. 13 national seed.
It will be a rematch of North Dakota State's first two NCAA tournament appearances in Minneapolis. The Gophers swept NDSU 25-18, 25-14, 25-14 in 2008 and swept again 25-21, 25-21, 25-12 last year.
Friday's 4:30 p.m. matchup in Minneapolis has Western Michigan (24-8) facing Washington (23-7). The winners will meet in the second round Saturday.
The second-round winner will advance to regional play Dec. 9-10 also in Minneapolis. Kentucky, Florida and Hawaii are the other regional hosts.
The national semifinals and championship are Dec. 15 and 17 hosted by Texas-San Antonio at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
North Dakota State qualified for its second straight NCAA tournament third in four years by winning the Summit League tournament championship Nov. 19 against Oral Roberts in Fort Wayne, Ind.
This will be NDSU's 23rd NCAA tournament appearance in program history. The Bison qualified for the Division II playoffs 20 times from 1982 to 2003, missing only in 1985 and 1994.
NDSU has qualified for the Division I tournament in three out of six seasons since 2006. The Bison were not eligible in 2004 and 2005 during reclassification.