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    Fighting Irish

    Nov. 30, 1997

    Notre Dame Volleyball to Face Liberty in NCAA First Round

    Irish Placed in Central Region, with Potential Matchups vs. Arkansas and Wisconsin

    The University of Notre Dame women's volleyball team will open play at the 1997 NCAA Tournament against Liberty University, with the match to be held at the University of Arkansas (in Fayetteville) on Friday, Dec. 5 (time TBA).

    The NCAA women's volleyball tournament has expanded from 48 to 56 teams and will feature 16 sub-regionals, with the top eight seeds receiving a first-round bye. Arkansas (29-5), which is coming off an upset of Florida in the Southeastern Conference title match, will play host to one of those subregionals. The Lady Razorbacks will face Arkansas-Little Rock (16-12) on Dec. 5, with the winner moving on to play the Notre Dame-Liberty winner on Dec. 6.

    The Irish--who will be making their sixth straight NCAA appearance and seventh in 10 years--have been placed in the central region, with Wisconsin (29-2) serving as the region's top seed. Wisconsin awaits the winner of the Central Florida-Clemson first-round match, with the winner of the Wisconsin subregional facing the winner of the Arkansas sub-regional in the regional round.

    The bottom half of the central region bracket is as follows: American vs. Colorado State, with the winner facing the Lehigh-Washington State winner (WSU is the host team), and Florida State-Southern Florida, with the winner facing sub-regional host Florida.

    Should Notre Dame advance to the regional round, the Irish conceivably could be paired in the central region with three teams that have defeated Notre Dame this season: Wisconsin, Washington State and Florida.

    Penn State received the tournament's overall #1 seed and is the top seed in the East region while Long Beach State is the overall #2 seed (pacific region), Stanford is the #3 seed (mountain region) and Wisconsin is #4. The remainder of the top eight tournament seeds are as follows: #5 Florida, #6 UC Santa Barbara, #7 Nebraska and #8 Brigham Young.

    Notre Dame faced four of the top eight seeds during the 1997 season--Wisconsin, Florida, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara--in addition to seven other teams in the tournament field: BIG EAST foe Villanova, Texas A&M, Washington State, Houston, Colorado, Oral Roberts, Illinois State and Texas. The Irish were 5-8 vs. teams in the 1997 NCAA Tournament field, posting two wins over Villanova and one victory over Houston, Oral Roberts and Illinois State.

    Liberty (26-8) will be making its first appearance in the NCAAs after claiming the Big South Conference automatic bid. The Flames' eight losses this season came vs. Coastal Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Biola, Point Loma Nazarene, Radford, Campbell and Maryland-Baltimore County.

    Arkansas-Little Rock (16-12) is making its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the Southland Conference title. Arkansas also is making its second NCAA appearance, after advancing in 1996.

    1997 NCAA VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

    EAST REGION
    at State College, Pa.
    12/5 - Villanova (20-8) vs. Northern Illinois (26-3) 
    12/6 - Villanova/Northern Illinois winner plays Penn State (30-1) 
    at College Park, Md.    
    12/5 -  Ohio State (22-10) vs. Fairfield (25-9);
            Princeton (22-5) at Maryland (26-1)   
    12/6 -  Ohio State/Fairfield winner vs. Princeton/Maryland winner  
    at College Station, Texas
    12/4 -  Temple (29-4) vs. Michigan (20-11);
            Hofstra (23-13) vs. Texas A&M (24-7) 
    12/ -   Temple/Michigan winner vs. Hofstra/Texas A&M winner
    at Provo, Utah
    12/5 - Miami (Ohio) (23-7) vs. Minnesota (22-9) 
    12/6 - Miami (Ohio)/Minnesota winner vs. Brigham Young (27-5)
    CENTRAL REGION 
    at Madison, Wis.
    12/5 -  Central Florida (27-3) vs. Clemson (26-7) 
    12/6 -  Central Florida/Clemson winner vs. Wisconsin (28-2) 
    at Fayetteville, Ark.
    12/5 -  Arkansas (29-5) vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (16-12);
            Notre Dame (23-8) vs. Liberty (26-8) 
    12/6 -  Arkansas/Arkansas-Little Rock winner vs. Notre Dame/Liberty winner 
    at Pullman, Wash.
    12/6 -  American (30-3) vs. Colorado State (26-5);
            Lehigh (18-12) vs. Washington State (24-6) 
    12/7 - American/Colorado State winner vs. Lehigh/Washington State winner
    at Gainesville, Fla.
    12/5 -  Florida State (25-8) vs. South Florida (25-8)
    12/6 - Florida State/South Florida winner vs. Florida (31-3) 
    PACIFIC REGION
    at Long Beach, Calif.
    12/5 -  Hawaii (25-7) vs. Loyola Marymount (21-6)
    12/6 - Hawaii/Loyola Marymount winner vs. Long Beach State (30-1) 
    at Seattle, Wash.
    12/6 -  Washington (18-9) vs. Chattanooga (26-9);
            Pacific (22-8) vs. Cal State Sacramento (21-8) 
    12/7 -  Washington/Chattanooga winner vs. Pacific/Cal State Sacramento  winner 
    at Los Angeles, Calif.
    12/5 - Kansas State (20-12) vs. San Diego (25-3);
           Morgan State (25-9) vs. Southern California (21-5) 
    12/6 - Kansas State/San Diego winner vs. Morgan State/Southern California winner 
    at Lincoln, Neb.
    12/5 - Butler (27-6) vs. Michigan State (22-11) 
    12/6 - Butler/Michigan State winner vs. Nebraska
    MOUNTAIN REGION
    at Stanford, Calif.
    12/5 - Oklahoma (19-12) vs. Houston (22-9) 
    12/6 - Oklahoma/Houston winner vs. Stanford (28-2) 
    at Boulder, Colo.
    12/6 - Colorado (20-8) vs. Tennessee Tech (23-9);
           Arizona (20- 6) vs. Oral Roberts (28-9) 
    12/7 - Colorado/Tennessee Tech winner vs. Arizona/Oral Roberts winner
    at Austin, Texas
    12/4 - Illinois State (24-8) vs. South Carolina (20-7);
           Stephen F. Austin (23-12) vs. Texas (23-6) 
    12/5 - Illinois State/South Carolina winner vs. Stephen F. Austin/Texas winner 
    at Santa Barbara, Calif.
    12/5 -  UCLA (16-12) vs. Pepperdine (23-5) 
    12/6 - UCLA/Pepperdine winner vs. UC Santa Barbara (29-4) 
    

    CHAMPIONSHIP STRUCTURE: The 1997 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship provides for a field of 56 teams. Sixteen first- and second-round matches will be played December 4-7. Winners will advance to four regional tournaments (December 11- 14), also to be played on the campuses of participating institutions. The four regional winners will meet for the championship December 18 and 20. Competition will be single-elimination, best three-of-five-game matches. The national semifinals and final will be played December 18 and 20 at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, Washington. Washington State University is the host institution.

    SELECTION PROCESS: Twenty-six conferences were granted automatic qualification for the 1997 championship and four conferences competed in play-in competition to fill the remaining two conference berths. The remaining 28 teams were selected at large.

    DEFENDING CHAMPION: Last year, Stanford captured its third NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship in six years, defeating Hawaii 15-7, 15-3, 15-5 in Cleveland, Ohio. Stanford freshman Kerri Walsh was named the tournament's most outstanding player and led the Cardinal with 17 kills in 32 attempts.

    CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES: Twelve teams are making their first appearance in the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. They are American, Butler, Cal State Sacramento, Chattanooga, Fairfield, Lehigh, Liberty, Michigan, Morgan State, Temple, Tennessee Tech and Villanova. Four institutions have played in all 17 championships: Pacific, Penn State, Stanford and UC Santa Barbara.

    '97 NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS (26)
                                              Previous Appearances      Last
    Conference          Team                  Record  Yrs. Won Lost     Appearance
     America East        Hofstra              23-13   2    0    2       1996    
     Atlantic Coast      Clemson               26-7   2    1    2       1994
     Atlantic 10         Temple                29-4   FIRST APPEARANCE       
     Big East            Notre Dame            23-8   6    6    6       1996
     Big Sky             Cal State Sacramento  21-8   FIRST APPEARANCE                
     Big South           Liberty               26-8   FIRST APPEARANCE        
     Big Ten             Penn State            30-1   16   18   16      1996    
     Big 12              Texas                  3-6   15   32   14      1996    
     Big West            Long Beach State      30-1   11   24   9       1996    
     Colonial            American              30-3   FIRST APPEARANCE
     Conference USA      Houston               22-9   7    3    7       1996
     Ivy                 Princeton             22-5   1    0    1       1994
     Metro Atlantic      Fairfield             25-9   FIRST APPEARANCE        
     Mid-American        Northern Illinois     26-3   2    1    2       1996
     Mid-Continent       Oral Roberts          28-9   2    3    2       1996    
     Midwestern Collegiate    Butler           27-6   FIRST APPEARANCE        
     Missouri Valley     Illinois State        24-8   9    2    9       1996
     Ohio Valley         Tennessee Tech        23-9   FIRST APPEARANCE        
     Pacific-10          Stanford              28-2   16   44   14      1996    
     Southeastern        Arkansas              29-5   1    1    1       1996
     Southern            Chattanooga           26-9   FIRST APPEARANCE        
     Southland           Stephen F. Austin    23-12   1    0    1       1994
     Sun Belt            Arkansas-Little Rock  16-12  1    0    1       1996    
     Trans America       Central Florida       27-3   3    0    3       1996
     West Coast          San Diego             25-3   2    0    2       1996
     Western Athletic    Brigham Young         27-5   15   17   15      1996
    PLAY-IN QUALIFIERS (2)
                                                  Previous Appearances  Last
    Conference             Team           Record  Yrs.  Won  Lost       Appearance
    Mid-Eastern Athletic   Morgan State    25-9   FIRST APPEARANCE
    Patriot                Lehigh         18-12   FIRST APPEARANCE
    1997 NCAA  DIVISION I WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL AT-LARGE SELECTIONS (28) 
                    Previous Appearances    Last
    Conference           Team              Record   Yrs. Won Lost Appearance
     Arizona             Pacific-10         20-6    12    9   12  1996
     Colorado            Big 12             20-8     7    3    7  1996
     Colorado State      Western Athletic   26-5     8    5    8  1996
     Florida             Southeastern       31-3     7   15    7  1996
     Florida State       Atlantic Coast     25-8     8    1    8  1993
     Hawaii              Western Athletic   25-7    15   35   12  1996
     Kansas State        Big 12             20-12    1    1    1  1996
     Loyola Marymount    West Coast         21-6     4    2    4  1996
     Maryland            Atlantic Coast     26-1     3    1    3  1996
     Miami (Ohio)        Mid-American       23-7     4    0    4  1996
     Michigan            Big Ten            20-11   FIRST APPEARANCE
     Michigan State      Big Ten            22-11    3    5    3  1996
     Minnesota           Big Ten            22-9     3    4    3  1996
     Nebraska            Big 12             25-6    15   33   14  1996
     Ohio State          Big Ten            22-10    8   10    8  1996
     Oklahoma            Big 12             19-12    2    2    2  1988
     Pacific             Big West           22-8    16   33   16  1996
     Pepperdine          West Coast         23-5     9    0    9  1991
     South Carolina      Southeastern       20-7     2    1    2  1995
     South Florida       Conference USA     25-8     3    0    3  1996
     Southern California Pacific-10         21-5    14   21   13  1996
     Texas A&M           Big 12             24-7     8    6    8  1996
     UC Santa Barbara    Big West           29-4    16    8   16  1996
     UCLA                Pacific-10         16-12   15   43   13  1995
     Villanova           Big East           20-8    FIRST APPEARANCE
     Washington          Pacific-10         18-9     5    4    5  1996
     Washington State    Pacific-10         24-6     5    3    5  1996
     Wisconsin           Big Ten            28-2     5    5    5  1996
    TOP EIGHT SEEDS: 1. Penn State, 2. Long Beach State,
    4 Stanford, 4. Wisconsin, 5. Florida, 6. UC Santa Barbara,
    7. Nebraska, 8. Brigham Young.

    CONFERENCE QUALIFIERS
    6 Teams: Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-10
    3 Teams: Atlantic Coast, Big West, Southeastern, West Coast, Western Athletic
    2 Teams: Big East, Conference USA, Mid-American
    1 Team: America East, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Colonial, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-Continent, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Midwestern Collegiate, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Sun Belt, Trans America

    1997 NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES

    17th APPEARANCE (every year since 1981) (4 teams)
    Pacific, Penn State, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara

    16th APPEARANCE (5 teams)
    Brigham Young (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-88-90-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)
    Hawaii (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-90-91-93-94-95-96-97)
    Nebraska (1982-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)
    Texas (1982-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)
    UCLA (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-94-95-97)

    15th APPEARANCE (1 team)
    Southern Cal (1981-82-83-84-85-87-88-89-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)

    13th APPEARANCE (1 team)
    Arizona (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-93-94-96-97)

    12th APPEARANCE (1 team)
    Long Beach State (1985-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)

    10th APPEARANCE (2 teams)
    Illinois State (1982-83-84-85-88-89-92-93-96-97)
    Pepperdine (1981-82-84-86-87-88-89-90-91-97)

    9th APPEARANCE (4 teams)
    Colorado State (1983-84-85-86-87-88-95-96-97)
    Florida State (1983-85-87-88-89-90-92-93-97)
    Ohio State (1989-90-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)
    Texas A&M (1981-82-85-86-93-94-95-96-97)

    8th APPEARANCE (3 teams)
    Colorado (1989-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)
    Florida (1987-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)
    Houston (1989-91-92-93-94-95-96-97)

    7th APPEARANCE (1 team)
    Notre Dame (1988-92-93-94-95-96-97)

    6th APPEARANCE (3 teams)
    Washington (1986-88-7-89-94-96-97)
    Washington State (1991-93-94-95-96-97)
    Wisconsin (1990-91-93-94-96-97)

    5th APPEARANCE (2 teams)
    Loyola Marymount (1986-94-95-96-97)
    Miami (Ohio) (1981-90-95-96-97)

    4th APPEARANCE (5 teams)
    Central Florida (1994-95-96-97)
    Maryland (1990-95-96-97)
    Michigan State (1994-95-96-97)
    Minnesota (1989-93-96-97)
    South Florida (1993-95-96-97)

    3rd APPEARANCE (7 teams)
    Clemson (1993-94-97), Hofstra (1995-96-97), Northern Illinois (1993-96-97), Oklahoma (1987-88-97), Oral Roberts (1995-96-97), San Diego (1993-96-97), South Carolina (1984-95-97)

    2nd APPEARANCE (5 teams)
    Arkansas (1996-97), Arkansas-Little Rock (1996-97), Kansas State (1996-97), Princeton (1994-97), Stephen F. Austin (1994-97)

    1st APPEARANCE (12 teams): American, Butler, Cal State Sacramento, Chattanooga, Fairfield, Lehigh, Liberty, Michigan, Morgan State, Temple, Tennessee Tech, Villanova.

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