Dixie State spikers receive first-ever NCAA Tourney Invite

DSU players react upon finding out about their team's invitation to the NCAA D-II tournament, St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2013 | Photo courtesy DSU Athletics

INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time in school history the Dixie State University volleyball team earned a postseason berth in the NCAA Division II West Regional as the number six-seed.

DSU (17-9) will open the eight-team, single-elimination tournament in San Bernardino, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 5 versus third-seeded UC San Diego (25-5). Match time will be noon Pacific Standard Time (1 p.m. Mountain Standard Time).

“Amazing, this is a well deserved opportunity for our players,” said second year head coach Robyn Felder. “They have worked so hard for this reward and do everything they can to win.”

1470130_701312736554993_289440580_nThe Red Storm, who tied for third in the Pacific West Conference standing with a 14-6 league record, are one of two PWC teams selected for the West Regional. Conference champion BYU-Hawaii (24-1 overall, 19-1 PWC), with whom DSU lost their lone match to during the regular season, are seeded second in the regional.

The opening-round match-up with UC San Diego will be the first meeting between the two schools. UC San Diego also finished in third place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. DSU has won nine of their last 11 matches and the Tritons have lost two of its last three.

Also aligned on DSU’s half of the regional bracket for possible opposition in a regional semifinal is second-seeded BYU-Hawaii and seventh-seeded Alaska Anchorage (21-9). DSU lost to BYU-Hawaii in three sets earlier this year and lost to AAU in four games in 2012.

Tournament host CSU San Bernardino completed its regular season 25-5 overall and is the champion of the California Collegiate Athletic Association at 21-1; its eighth consecutive title. The Coyotes enter the NCAAs having won 22 of their last 23 matches. They open with Central Washington at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. CWU handed the Coyotes a five set loss earlier in the season. The other match-up pits fourth-seeded Sonoma State (25-5) against Great Northwest Champion and fifth-seeded Western Washington (23-3).

Regional semifinals would take place on Friday (Dec. 6) at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Pacific (6 and 8:30 p.m. Mountain), with the championship match to be held at 7 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Mountain) on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The entire regional will be played in the Physical Education Building, also known as “The Den,” due to Fall commencement ceremonies taking place in Coussoulis Arena on Dec. 7.

The NCAA West Region champion advances to the Elite Eight, held Dec. 12-14 at U.S. Cellular Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and hosted by Upper Iowa University.

NCAA West Region
Dec. 5-7, 2013
The Den – Cal State San Bernardino

First Round
Thursday, Dec. 5
12:00 p.m. – No. 3 seed UC San Diego (25-5) vs. No. 6 Dixie State (17-9)
2:30 p.m. – No. 2 seed BYU-Hawaii (24-1) vs. No. 7 seed Alaska-Anchorage (21-9)
5:00 p.m. – No. 4 seed Sonoma State (25-5) vs. No. 5 seed Western Washington (23-3)
7:30 p.m. – No. 1 seed Coyotes (25-5) vs. No. 8 seed Central Washington (15-11)

Second Round
Friday, Dec. 6
5:00 p.m. – UCSD/Dixie State winner vs. BYU-H/UAA winner
7:30 p.m. – SSU/WWU winner vs. CSUSB/CWU winner

Championship
Saturday, Dec. 7
7 p.m.

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DSU players react upon finding out about their team's invitation to the NCAA D-II tournament, St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2013 | Photo courtesy DSU Athletics
DSU players react upon finding out about their team’s invitation to the NCAA D-II tournament, St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2013 | Photo courtesy DSU Athletics

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