Four ACC Volleyball Teams Earn NCAA Tournament Bids

Nov. 28, 2011

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Four Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball teams earned bids to the 2011 Division I NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship, the NCAA Volleyball Selection Committee announced yesterday. Duke and North Carolina will play their first round match on Thursday, Dec. 1, and Florida State, the 12th overall seed, and Miami will hit the court on Friday, Dec. 2.

12th-seeded Florida State (24-6, 18-2 ACC), the 2011 regular season champion and the league’s automatic bid, will host first and second round action Dec. 2-3. The Seminoles received the No. 12 overall seed and will play Albany (N.Y.) (21-8) on Friday. The two squads already met this year back in August, with the Seminoles winning in a three-set sweep.

With a victory on Friday, Florida State would advance to the second round and face either Cincinnati or Samford. This is the third consecutive trip to the postseason for Florida State, which has compiled a 5-13 record in 13 previous appearances. In 2009, the Seminoles reached the Elite Eight for the first time in school history before being knocked out by Minnesota in four sets.

Miami (25-4, 16-4 ACC), ranked No. 25 in the country, will travel to Ames, Iowa, to face Northern Illinois (28-6) in the first round on Dec. 2. The Hurricanes, who are making their third consecutive trip to the tournament, would play the winner of Milwaukee and 4th-seeded Iowa State on Saturday with a first round win.

2011 marks the fourth overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament for Miami, which has posted a 2-3 mark in the postseason. In 2002, as a member of the Big East, the Hurricanes defeated Duke and Wisconsin before falling to Nebraska in the quarterfinals.

North Carolina (23-8, 15-5 ACC) will be making its 13th tournament appearance in school history after receiving an at-large bid from the Selection Committee and will open play in Malibu, Calif., on Thursday against California (26-6). The winner will take on No. 15 Pepperdine or Missouri State for the right to advance to the Honolulu Regional.

The Tar Heels, who are making their ninth appearance under head coach Joe Sagula, have a postseason record of 7-12 and have reached the tournament in three of the last four years. In 2008 and 2010, North Carolina won its opening round matches, and reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2002.

Duke (21-8, 15-5 ACC) will play at 14th-seeded Tennessee (27-3), the Southeastern Conference champion, on Dec. 1. With a victory, the Blue Devils would face the winner of Ohio State and Middle Tennessee the next day and attempt to earn a Sweet 16 berth in the Gainesville, Fla., regional.

The NCAA Tournament appearance is the seventh straight for Duke and 17th overall, an ACC best. The Blue Devils have advanced to the postseason in the 10 of 13 seasons under head coach Jolene Nagel, and have a 12-16 record all-time. Last year, they reached the Elite Eight after wins over High Point, Ohio, and Missouri before falling to Penn State, the eventual champion.

Thursday, Dec. 1 – Friday, Dec. 2

at Knoxville, Tenn.

Ohio State (19-14) vs. Middle Tenn. (21-11)

Duke (21-8) vs. No. 14 Tennessee (27-3)

 

at Malibu, Calif.

No. 15 Pepperdine (22-6) vs. Missouri State (22-8)

North Carolina (23-8) vs. California (26-6)

 

Friday, Dec. 2 – Saturday, Dec. 3

at Tallahassee, Fla.

Cincinnati (26-9) vs. Samford (29-4)

Albany (N.Y.) (21-8) vs. No. 12 Florida State (24-6)

 

at Ames, Iowa

Northern Illinois (28-6) vs. Miami (Fla.) (25-4)

Milwaukee (25-4) vs. No. 4 Iowa State (22-5)