For the 28th consecutive season, the Penn State women's volleyball team (29-1) will serve as one of the 16 sites for the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament, this time as the No. 1 overall seed in the 2017 NCAA women's volleyball tournament.
The victor will face Missouri (20-11) or 2015 Final Four participant Kansas (22-7) at 8 p.m. Saturday in a second-record match at Wichita State. That match from Lexington will be played at 6 p.m. CST Saturday.
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. Within the Big Ten Conference, the team was swept by No. 1 Penn State and No. 5 Nebraska and took only one loss from MI and Purdue.
The Falcons, who posted a 17-11 overall record and were co-champions of the Mid-American Conference in the regular season, were an automatic qualifier in the 32-team tournament.
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The matches in Omaha will take place at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center on the Creighton campus.
The NIVC is in its first year of existence following a almost 22-year hiatus. 24 Ohio State, No. 23 Michigan State and No. 21 Florida State. Junior outside hitter Taryn Kloth (3.05 kps.) was named Second Team All-BIG EAST and earned MVP honors at the BIG EAST Championships after leading CU to the title in Saturday's 3-2 win at Marquette. It lost to Cleveland State in the Horizon League championship.
The NCAA's evaluation and Wichita State's ambition finally matched. Notre Dame (22-9, 12-8 ACC) finished the regular season strong, winning six of its last seven matches to build momentum heading into postseason play. The Red Raiders are one of three Big 12 teams in the field along with three other Power-5 schools.
KU swept Mizzou, 3-0, two years ago at home in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This year's Final Four is at Sprint Center, where Havili and Payne watched Kansas and Missouri play an exhibition basketball game. In this bracket, they have the chance to take on #4 seed Kentucky, who was the wildcard selection for a top-four seed in the tournament.