Sports

Gophers to host NCAA volleyball regional Friday and Saturday

Gophers to host NCAA volleyball regional Friday and Saturday

The Coastal Carolina (20-7) volleyball team will face ninth-seeded Creighton (25-6) in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship, it was announced Sunday night during the NCAA Selection Show. The victor will advance to take on either OR or Kennesaw State, which square off against each other just prior to BYU's match, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.

The Cougars will open play Friday in a match versus American, which was champion of the Patriot Conference.

UND is 0-4 all-time against the Gophers, including a 3-1 setback in the regular season past year prior to the 3-0 loss in the NCAA Tournament.

The top five teams in the rankings are Penn State, Texas, Florida, Stanford and Nebraska. The Big Ten has three teams seeded (No. 1 Penn State, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 7 Minnesota) and also got the Spartans, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue, and MI into the 64-team field - a total of eight selections. Coastal recorded its first NCAA Tournament victory last season when it defeated James Madison in five sets in the first round.

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The Nebraska volleyball team stayed ranked No. 5 in the final regular season AVCA poll on Monday.

Creighton is making its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance following its fourth consecutive BIG EAST championship. The Fighting Hawks enter the tourney with a 30-7 overall record and went 12-4 in conference play.

"It's wonderful. We love playing at home, and for anyone that was here last night or saw it on tv, it was an fantastic atmosphere to compete in, and we're very fortunate that we get to play in the best college volleyball arena in the nation". "I think we are a little disappointed with the way we finished up the regular season, but what I am seeing from our team now is a focus".

"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", said head coach Cathy George. It turns out we're a bit of both. Sophomore McKenna Miller was second on the team with 328 kills with senior middle blocker Cosey Burnett adding 237 kills, good for third on the team. "There's been some ups and downs along the way, but we really took some big steps forward in the last couple of weeks, and I think we can get better this week in practice getting ready for next week's matches".


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