The Big West champion UC Santa Barbara women’s volleyball team will open its NCAA Tournament play at No. 9 San Diego it learned during the Selection Show on Sunday.
“The team is very excited about this opportunity,” UCSB Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “We have made so much progress this season, and the whole team environment is great, which has had a lot to do with our success.”
The Gauchos picked up their sixth conference title with a 3-1 victory at UC Irvine, and competing in their 28 th NCAA Tournament. The team is now a part of an elite group of just seven programs to have made as many apperances.
UCSB finished the conference schedule at 13-3, which is the team’s best finish since 2004. The Gauchos earned a share of the Big West title along with Hawai’i and Cal State Northridge, both of which will also be competing in the tournament.
San Diego (24-3) clinched the ninth overall seed going into the postseason, but they have been among the nation’s top-10 teams for nearly the entire season.
The Gauchos previously lost to USD 3-0 at San Diego in September. UCSB has not suffered a sweep since, however, and has gone on to win 15 of their final 19 matches.
The match is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. PST on Friday in San Diego.