Albany Draws Rematch With Florida State In NCAAs
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- The America East Champion University at Albany Great Danes will make their second straight NCAA Volleyball Championship appearance and will play 12th-seeded Florida State in the first round on Fri., Dec. 2. The NCAA announced the bracket live on ESPNU Sunday evening.
The Danes and Seminoles will square off in one first-round contest at Florida State, while Cincinnati and Samford will play in another. The winners of both matches will advance and play one another in the second round on Sat., Dec. 3.
The Great Danes (21-8) earned an automatic berth to the field of 64 after winning the 2011 America East Championship on Nov. 19. Albany swept UMBC in the semifinals, then defeated Stony Brook 3-0 in the title match. Senior setter Brooke Stanley returned from an injury which sidelined her last season to earn the tournament's Most Outstanding Player honors. Senior middle blocker Casey Wright and junior outside hitter Dunja Prgomet joined Stanley on the all-tournament team.
Florida State (24-6), ranked 21st nationally, earned the automatic bid out of the ACC. The Seminoles went 18-2 in conference play and topped the conference standings, as the ACC does not have a league tournament. Three Florida State players earned ACC All-Conference honors including senior outside hitters Visnja Djurdjevic and Jekaterina Stepanova, as well as sophomore middle blocker Ashley Neff.
Albany and Florida State met earlier this season on Aug. 27 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles swept the match by set scores of 25-16, 25-20, 25-20.
The NCAA seeded the top 16 teams and placed them within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Illinois and No. 4 Iowa State.
First- and second-round matches will be played at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play Dec. 9 and 10. The pre-determined regional sites will be in Gainesville, Fla.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Lexington, Ky.; and Minneapolis, Minn.. All regional semifinal games will be shown on ESPN3.com while regional final games will air on ESPNU.
The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by UT-San Antonio and San Antonio Sports at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 15 and 17. Both national semifinal games as well as the championship game will be telecast by ESPN2.