BTN.com staff, November 30, 2014
Six Big Ten volleyball teams were selected to the 2014 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, it was announced Sunday night.
Big Ten champ Wisconsin is the No. 4 overall seed, while No. 5 Penn State, No. 9 Illinois and No. 14 Nebraska, Michigan State and Ohio State round out the Big Ten contingent.
After winning its fifth Big Ten title and receiving the conference?s automatic berth, Wisconsin will host first- and second-round matches and will take on Western Michigan in Thursday?s first round of the Louisville Regional. With a first-round win, the Badgers will face the winner of the Illinois State-Marquette match. The selection marks Wisconsin?s 18th tournament appearance.
Also in the Louisville Regional is defending NCAA champ Penn State. The Nittany Lions are making their 34th trip to the NCAA Tournament and will host Siena at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday. If Penn State advances, it would meet American or Dayton in the second round.
Illinois earns a No. 9 seed, and will entertain Murray State at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. With a first-round win, the Fighting Illini would face Iowa State or Western Kentucky in the second round of the Ames Regional. Illinois is making its 22nd appearance in the national tournament.
Nebraska enters its 33rd consecutive NCAA Tournament and will host Hofstra in the Seattle Regional. The winner of the match will advance to the second round to take on Kansas State or Utah.
Michigan State earns its fourth consecutive postseason berth, and 17th in program history, and will face Loyola Marymount in Friday?s first round of the Ames Regional. With a win, the Spartans would meet either No. 1 Stanford or Bakersfield.
Ohio State travels to Lexington, Ky., for its first-round match in the Louisville Regional against Lipscomb on Friday. The NCAA bid marks the Buckeyes? 22nd overall appearance and first since 2012. Ohio State will advance to play Kentucky or Oakland with a first-round win.
First- and second-round matches will take place on campus sites on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while regionals will be played at one of four sites on Dec. 12 and 13. Regional winners will advance to Oklahoma City, Okla., to compete in the national semifinals on Dec. 18, with the National Championship set for Dec. 20.