Volleyball to host NCAA first and second rounds
AUSTIN, Texas -- The 11th-ranked Texas volleyball team will make its 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance this coming weekend when it hosts the first and second rounds of the 2005 NCAA Tournament at Gregory Gym for the second year in a row.
The Longhorns (24-4, 17-3 Big 12) will welcome No. 7 national seed and No. 8 ranked Hawaii, Texas State and UT's first-round opponent, LSU, to Gregory Gym on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3.
Hawaii will face Texas State on Friday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m., and the Longhorns will take on LSU at 7 p.m., or approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The winners of the two games will face off on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets to the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds can be purchased at any Texas Box Office location beginning Monday, Nov. 28. All-session ticket packages are $6 (students) to $18 (reserved seating). Individual session tickets will go on sale beginning Friday ($3 - $9).
The winner of the Austin Sub-Regional will travel to University Park, Pa., for the NCAA Regional hosted by No. 2 national seed Penn State, where it will face the winner of the Columbia, Mo. (University of Missouri) Sub-Regional in the NCAA "Sweet 16". Regional matches will be played Dec. 8-11.
Texas earned one of 33 at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament, and was one of a tournament-leading seven teams from the Big 12 Conference to earn an invite. UT, which finished second in the conference standings for the second year in a row, is joined by No. 10 national seed Missouri, Kansas State, Colorado, Texas A&M and Kansas in the 64-team draw.
The Longhorns, coming off Saturday evening's stunning upset of previously undefeated and top-ranked Nebraska, are currently 10-0 at home in 2005 and have won 16 straight matches on their home court. Additionally, UT has also won 26 of its last 27 matches at Gregory dating back to 2003, the lone loss coming in 2004 to then third-ranked Nebraska in five games.
LSU (21-7, 11-5 SEC) also gained an at-large bid to the tournament for the first time in 13 seasons and seventh time overall. The Tigers finished tied for first in the Southeastern Conference Western Division with Arkansas, before falling in the first round of the SEC Tournament. LSU head coach Fran (Teeter) Flory is a former All-Southwest Conference selection from Texas, playing four seasons for the Horns (1980-83). Texas and LSU have met three times in NCAA play, with UT holding a 2-1 advantage.
Hawaii (25-6, 16-0 WAC) earned its ticket to the tournament by winning the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, earning the league's automatic bid. The Rainbow Wahine are making their 24th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Hawaii started the season with a 7-6 record but has since reeled off 18-straight wins heading into the NCAA Tournament. Texas and Hawaii have met twice in the NCAA Tournament with each team winning one meeting. UT's victory came in the 1998 national championship game with the Longhorns winning, 3-0 in Minneapolis to win the program's first NCAA title.
Texas State (17-14, 12-6 Southland) earned the Southland Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the league's annual tournament. The Bobcats will be making their fifth appearance overall in the NCAA Tournament and their second in a row. Texas State played Texas in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament in Austin, falling 3-0. That was the teams' only meeting in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2004, Texas earned returned to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year hiatus and advanced swept the two matches at the Austin Sub-Regional (3-0 vs. Texas State, 3-1 vs. Michigan) before falling to eventual national champion Stanford in the round of 16 at the Green Bay (Wisc.) Regional.
Texas has been selected to host first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament 16 times and UT is 32-7 all-time in NCAA matches played in Austin. Texas is undefeated in first-round contests at 19-0.