TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 20 University of Arizona volleyball team qualified for its 23rd trip to the NCAA Tournament today and will face Northwestern in Cedar Falls, Iowa in first round action.
No. 11 Northern Iowa, the host site, and Missouri make up the four-team pod in Cedar Falls. UA will face Northwestern on Friday, December 3. Match times are still to be announced.
The Wildcats earned an NCAA tournament bid for the second consecutive year behind an overall record of 20-11 and 9-9 showing in conference. Head Coach Dave Rubio has now guided Arizona to 14 trips to the postseason.
The Pac-10 Conference had six teams advance into the tournament. No. 2 California received the automatic berth awarded to the conference, while Stanford, USC, UCLA, Washington and UA all received at-large bids. The Wildcats and Bruins were the only two teams from the Pac-10 which did not get a bid to host the first and second round.
"It's always exciting qualifying for the NCAA Tournament," said Rubio. "Our team is excited about postseason play and I believe we got selected to a very competitive pod. The travel out to Iowa will be tough, but I like the way our team shapes up against the other teams in the field."
Historically the Wildcats have performed well in the NCAA Tournament under Rubio, posting a record of 22-13 in his teams' 13 previous trips to the postseason.
The top four seeds in the tournament are Florida, Nebraska, Stanford and Penn State.
Arizona is led by outside hitter Tiffany Owens who recorded a 3.97 kill per set ratio, Paige Weber, the team's setter, dishing out 10.97 assists per set and opposite hitter Whitney Dosty, connecting on 3.06 kills per set.
Last weekend Arizona fell to No. 4 Stanford, 3-0, and No. 2 Cal, 3-1, in the Bay Area.