The 2011 Northeast Conference champion Sacred Heart women's volleyball team will head to California for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament after drawing #11 Stanford during the annual selection show aired today on ESPNU. This will be a homecoming for the majority of the SHU roster as eight players hail from the Golden State. The Pioneers and Cardinal take the court Friday, December 2 at 7:00 pm PST with Michigan and Baylor playing the other first-round match at historic Maples Pavilion.
"We ended up with the 54th seed which is the highest in the history of the program," said SHU head coach Rob Machan. "We're ready to go and put on a good show."
Sacred Heart enters the 2011 NCAA Tournament riding a nine game winning streak and on the heels of capturing a second consecutive NEC crown. In last year's NCAA Tournament Sacred Heart provided some second set drama against Nebraska before eventually falling to the Huskers, 3-0. The 2011 Pioneers are led by senior captain and NEC Libero of the Year Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA).
"We're really excited to go to California," said Colberg. "A lot of us are from there so it's a little bit of a trip. It's nice to get a bit of a lower seed this time and see how much our program is progressing and getting more recognized.
Stanford rounded out the regular season with a 21-7 record, including a 15-7 mark in the Pac-12. The Cardinal are making their 31st straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and along with Penn State are the only programs to compete in every edition of the tournament.
Fans can get complete coverage throughout of the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team's meeting with Stanford at SacredHeartPioneers.com.