@NDvolleyball

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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