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Nov. 27, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The ninth-ranked and four-time defending national champion Penn State women's volleyball team (23-7, 16-4 Big Ten) earned the No. 8 seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions host Big South champion Liberty (20-12) on Friday, Dec. 2 at Rec Hall at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the tournament. Delaware (20-12), the CAA champion who earned its fourth bid to the tournament in five years, will take on American (23-10), the Patriot League champions, in the other first round match at Rec Hall at 5 p.m. The winners of each match will meet in the NCAA Second Round contest at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall on Saturday, Dec. 3.
"Tournament time is the best time of year," said sophomore Deja McClendon. "It's when we really get to see all the best teams at their peak. The whole time is hyped to play in front of the Rec Hall crowd again. I'm really excited to see how our freshmen team members come out in their first tournament appearance."
Penn State, which finished tied for second in the Big Ten with a 16-4 record, will be making its 31st NCAA Tournament appearance. Penn State is one of just two teams in the nation, the other being Stanford, to be selected to every postseason event since its beginning in 1981. In the 64-team field where only the top 16 teams are seeded, the Nittany Lions are joined by No. 2 seed Nebraska, No. 3 seed Illinois, No. 5 seed Purdue and No. 13 seed Minnesota, as well as Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. The Big Ten Conference leads all conferences with eight teams selected.
The Nittany Lions have earned the right to host the first and second rounds on the NCAA Tournament 25 times since 1981, including the last 22 seasons. Penn State has compiled an overall record of 72-25 in the event, including nine trips to the NCAA Semifinals (1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010) and five National Championships (1999, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010). Penn State is 46-3 in NCAA tournament matches in Rec Hall and has won its last 24 postseason matches in a row.
The winner of the Penn State first and second round NCAA site will advance to the Lexington Regional on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10 at Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum. The Penn State site winner will play the site winner from Los Angeles, Calif., which features No. 9 seed UCLA, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore, Long Beach State and San Diego. The other Regional Semifinal match will feature the Austin, Texas site winner (No. 1 seed Texas, Texas State, Michigan State and Arizona) and the College Station, Texas site winner (Kentucky, Dayton, Lipscomb and No. 16 seed Texas A&M).
The winners from each of the four Regional sites (Minneapolis, Minn., Honolulu, Hawaii, Gainesville, Fla. and Lexington, Ky.) advance to the NCAA National Semifinals, which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 15 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The National Championship match is set for Saturday, Dec. 17.
ALL SESSION tickets for the First and Second rounds MUST be purchased at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-NITTANY beginning on Monday, Nov. 28 at 10 a.m. up until Friday, Dec. 2 at Noon. All session tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for youth and students and $8 for groups (20 or more). SINGLE SESSION tickets WILL ONLY be available at Rec Hall on Friday and Saturday and are $8 for adults, $6 for youth and students and $5 for groups.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2011 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.