Bearcats used tough schedule to prepare for NCAA's
11/27/2012 (Updated 10:58:38 PM)VESTAL -- Binghamton, the 2012 America East Volleyball Champions, will face No. 1 overall seed Penn State in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Championship, the NCAA Division I Womens Volleyball Committee announced Sunday.
The 64-team field was revealed during the 30-minute selection show on ESPNU. Thirty-one conferences were awarded automatic qualification and the remaining 33 slots were filed with at-large selections to complete the bracket.
The Bearcats (13-17) will challenge the five-time national champion Nittany Lions (29-2) on Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in University Park, Pa. The winner will face the winner of the Yale and Bowling Green matchup on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Its not unexpected, head coach Glenn Kiriyama said of the matchup against the top-seeded Nittany Lions. My first thought was ... not them again! Penn State is a very good team and one of the biggest teams in the country so they will have a huge height advantage over us. They are a complete team ... thats why they are No. 1. We want to go in and play well, play our best brand of volleyball and represent the America East. We will look to control the ball on our side of the net.
Binghamton is making its third trip to the NCAA Volleyball Championship and fittingly will play Penn State for the third time. The Bearcats were swept by the Nittany Lions in both 2005 and 2009. Penn State has won championships in 1999, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and recently won its 15th Big Ten title.
The Bearcats earned the America Easts automatic bid to the NCAA Championship with a five-set victory over UMBC in the semifinals and then a sweep of No. 1 Albany in the championship match. Junior captain Grace Vickers was named the Most Outstanding Player while senior hitter Iva Partaleva and sophomore setter Amanda Dettmann joined her on the All-Tournament Team.
The last America East team to win an NCAA Championship match was Albany, who beat Cleveland State in the first round in 2007.
The winners from each of the four Regional sites (West Lafayette, Ind., Omaha Neb., Berkeley, Calif., and Austin, Texas) advance to the NCAA National Semifinals, which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13 in the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The National Championship match is set for Saturday, Dec. 15.
(Courtesy BU Athletics)
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