Volleyball's 2008 Runza/AVCA Showcase opponents announced
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association has announced that Texas, Nebraska, Stanford and USC will compete in this year's Runza/AVCA Showcase at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
The 2008 Runza/AVCA College Volleyball Showcase will begin on Friday, Aug. 29 with Nebraska taking on Stanford at 7 p.m., and Texas squaring off with USC at 9:30 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 31, Texas will tangle with Stanford at 12:30 p.m., and USC will face off with Nebraska at 3 p.m. All four matches will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports Network.
Tickets to the event will go on sale to the general public this Saturday, May 31 at noon Central, exclusively through Qwest Center Omaha and Ticketmaster. All-session ticket prices are $39 and $32.
AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer and Tom O'Gorman, Qwest Center Omaha Vice President of Corporate Sales and Marketing, announced that the event will return to Qwest Center Omaha in 2008, for the first of a new three-year contract through 2010.
Texas won its only appearance in the showcase, knocking off Wisconsin and Washington in the 2006 event in Madison, Wis. This year the Longhorns meet up with Stanford and USC, the two programs responsible for ending UT's season in the NCAA Regional finals in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
In 2008, for the first time in its history, the Runza/AVCA Showcase will be played in a Conference Challenge format. The Conference Challenge will feature four of the elite teams in the country, in a showdown of schools from two of the top conferences in the NCAA, the Big 12 and Pac-10. Under the Conference Challenge format, each school will play the two teams from the other conference, and not play the other school from its own league.
Texas and Nebraska, winners of 11 of the last 12 conference championships will represent the Big 12. With four national championships and a combined .728 winning percentage in the NCAA Tournament, the two schools are regularly among the elite volleyball programs in the nation.
Representing the Pac-10 are Stanford and USC, Pac-10 schools who have won 13 of 27 national championships since the NCAA began sanctioning women's volleyball in 1981; Stanford and USC own nine of those 13, or exactly one-third of all NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championships. Those same two schools have either tied for or won 11 of the last 12 Pac-10 championships.
All four teams finished ranked in the top 10 in last season's final CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll. Nine returning AVCA All-Americans with a total of 13 All-America honors highlight the team rosters.
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