Sports

Govs face UCLA in NCAA Volleyball Tournament's first round

Govs face UCLA in NCAA Volleyball Tournament's first round

The University of Utah Volleyball team celebrates a point in a set of matches vs. Penn State finished the regular season 29-1 on a 19-match winning streak, only losing in straight sets to Nebraska at home. "I think having some momentum going into the tournament will be really good for us".

In all, eight Big Ten teams made the tournament.

"It's really exciting. I think it was cool, because at Senior Night it was so exciting, but we had this little inkling like, 'OK, hopefully that wasn't the last one".

The Fighting Hawks, who are back-to-back Big Sky Conference tournament champions, posted a school-record 30 wins this season.

The Big 12 Conference includes four teams in NCAA Tournament's field of 64 - Kansas, No. 6 Texas, No. 12 Baylor and No. 14 Iowa State.

For the past two years, Wichita State has played in Nebraska.

"This is obviously one of the things we work for all year - to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament and to compete for a national championship", head coach Cathy George said. And with the Gophers having been to the Final Four the past two seasons - and 22 tournaments overall - the experience will only help. Also participating in the region is Missouri State (28-5) and Michigan State (21-8), who play before the Chants at 5 p.m. (ET) on Friday.

Western Kentucky earned its league's automatic bid after winning the Conference USA Tournament for the fourth-consecutive season.

Yet, Sunday night in the Naismith room in Allen Fieldhouse, nothing felt scripted about the huge roar from the Kansas volleyball players when their first-round NCAA tournament match appeared on the screen. Junior outside hitter Taryn Kloth earned MVP honors at the BIG EAST Championships.

A year ago, the Missouri volleyball team had to wait a while to see which teams would come to Columbia, where the Tigers would play host to the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Penn State (29-1), Florida (25-1), Stanford (26-3) and Kentucky (26-3) are the top four seeds and have the chance to play at home up until the Final Four. The victor of Saturday's match in the Omaha sub-regional will head to State College, Penn. for third-round and quarterfinal matches on December 8-9.


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