Volleyball starts NCAA Tournament on Friday


The program made it's first Elite Eight appearance a year ago and the first Sweet 16 bid before that.

The Boilermakers are determined to make a run as their four seniors have never made it to the Sweet 16.

After a regular season in which Nebraska defied preseason expectations by winning a share of the Big Ten championship, the Huskers asked John Cook if they could embrace the underdog spirit by bringing their pets to the Devaney Center on Sunday night to watch the unveiling of the NCAA tournament brackets. WKU is 2-10 all-time in NCAA play.

McLaughlin has led six teams to semifinal appearances (four times on the women's side and twice with men's teams) and has captured two NCAA national championships. The No. 6 Wildcats earned the 4th overall seed in the tournament after a 26-3 season and an SEC championship.

The Pioneers' current RPI (55) is the highest end-of-season RPI in program history, which earned them a No. 3 seed in the region. (2007) and Provo ('15).

"We're excited to get going", head coach Hugh McCutcheon told reporters. Martin is a former Paul Laurence Dunbar High School star, while the freshmen Music and Shelton were standouts together at Henry Clay High School.

The seniors said playing at home will be a huge advantage.

"I knew we were tight for hosting, and we weren't sure what was going to happen, but being No. 11 is an honor", she said. "It'll be a good atmosphere". The Bears celebrated Sunday night when they learned they will play their first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at home.

Princeton won the Ivy League this year with a 10-4 conference record and it finished with a 18-7 regular season record.

The top four seeds in the tournament include No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Stanford and No. 4 Kentucky. Friday's other first-round match (8 pm ET) features No. 17 Creighton and Coastal Carolina, and the winners of Friday's games will meet on Saturday at 7 pm ET. "There is nothing easy about earning a spot in the tournament". Last year, UNI was eliminated by Creighton in an epic five-set match in the first round. "They have one of the best setters in the country and they will be extremely tough".

"More than anything else, (the NCAA Tournament) is about managing emotions and staying calm and doing what you do well", Hudson said.