2005 Women's Division I
I WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
San Antonio, Texas at The Alamodome.
The University of Texas at San Antonio will host the Final Four teams
for the semi finals (December 15) and finals (December 17).
Nov. 27, 2005
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee announced today the 64-team field for the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. Thirty-one conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 33 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket.
The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Pennsylvania State University; University of Washington; and University of Arizona.
Team pairings were determined by geographical proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during the first and second rounds.
The Big 12 Conference led all conferences with seven teams selected. Three conferences landed six teams including the Big Ten Conference, Pacific-10 Conference and Southeastern Conference. Three teams, Penn State, Stanford University and University of California, Santa Barbara, have earned bids to all 25 championships. Four teams are making their initial appearances in the tournament: State University of New York at Binghamton, Virginia Commonwealth University, Jacksonville State University and University of Alabama, Tusacaloosa.
In the 25-year history of the championship, nine schools have been crowned champion, eight of which are in this year's bracket, including the defending champion Stanford.
Additional past winners making the field are Stanford (1992, 94, 96, 97, 2001, 04), University of Hawaii, Manoa (1982, 83, 87), Long Beach State University (1989, 93, 98), University of California, Los Angeles (1984, 90, 91), Nebraska (1995 and 2000), University of Southern California (1981, 2002, 03), Penn State (1999) and University of Texas at Austin (1988).
First- and second-round matches will be played at 16 campus sites. A list of the first-round match-ups follows.
First/Second Rounds (16 sites, 64 teams):
OMAHA, NEBRASKA REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Nebraska
Nebraska (28-1) def. Alabama A&M (15-11), 3-0
Duke (23-7) def. American (25-9), 3-0
Nebraska def. Duke, 3-0
December 2-3 at UCLA
UCLA (18-10) def. Kansas (15-14), 3-1
San Diego (22-5) def. Long Beach State (25-6), 3-1
UCLA def. San Diego, 3-0
December 2-3 at Louisville
Louisville (29-2) def. Western Kentucky (31-2), 3-1
Maryland (27-4) def. Kentucky (17-11), 3-1
Louisville def. Maryland, 3-0
December 1-2 at Florida
Kansas State (20-10) def. Florida A&M (22-5), 3-1
Florida (30-2) def. Florida Atlantic (29-2), 3-0
Florida def. Kansas State, 3-0
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Stanford
Stanford (25-5) def. Nevada (18-12), 3-0
Santa Clara (23-4) def. Sacramento State (26-8), 3-1
Santa Clara def. #5 Stanford, 3-1
December 2-3 at Southern California
Pepperdine (17-11) def. Brigham Young (25-3), 3-1
Southern California (16-10) def. UC Santa Barbara (21-8), 3-1
Pepperdine def. Southern California, 3-0
December 2-3 at Ohio State
Ohio State (21-8) def. Marshall (26-5), 3-0
Ohio (31-2) def. Alabama (23-10), 3-1
Ohio def. Ohio State, 3-0
December 2-3 at Utah
Utah (22-8) def. Loyola Marymount (19-10), 3-0
Arizona (22-5) def. Utah State (21-12), 3-0
Arizona def. Utah, 3-1
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Colorado State
Washington (26-1) def. Siena (20-11), 3-0
Colorado State (20-8) def. Colorado (15-12), 3-1
Washington def. Colorado State, 3-0
December 2-3 at North Carolina
Purdue (23-8) def. Virginia Commonwealth (22-11), 3-0
College of Charleston (30-1) def. North Carolina (23-9), 3-1
Purdue def. College of Charleston, 3-0
December 2-3 at Wisconsin
Wisconsin (23-6) def. Loyola (Illinois) (13-17), 3-0
California (18-10) def. Valparaiso (27-7), 3-0
Wisconsin def. California, 3-0
December 1-2 at Notre Dame
Northwestern (19-11) def. Texas A&M (16-13), 3-2
Notre Dame (28-3) def. Dayton (24-10), 3-2
Notre Dame def. Northwestern, 3-0
STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA REGIONAL
December 2-3 at Texas
Hawaii (25-6) def. Texas State (17-14), 3-0
Texas (23-4) def. LSU (21-7), 3-0
Hawaii def. Texas, 3-1
December 2-3 at Missouri
Arkansas (20-11) def. St. Mary's (California) (19-9), 3-0
Missouri (22-4) def. Missouri State (24-8), 3-0
Missouri def. Arkansas, 3-0
December 2-3 at Tennessee
Minnesota (24-7) def. Winthrop (28-5), 3-0
Tennessee (21-8) def. Jacksonville State (19-10), 3-0
Tennessee def. Minnesota, 3-2
December 2-3 at Penn State
Long Island (25-13) def. Cornell (19-5), 3-0
Penn State (29-2) def. Binghamton (20-11), 3-0
Penn State def. Long Island, 3-0
REGIONALS (4 Sites, 16 Teams):
Third Round, Sweet Sixteen
Fourth Round, Elite Eight
December 9-10, 2005
Host: Pennsylvania State University
The Recreation Building
University Park, Pennsylvania
Ticket Info: 800/833-5533
4 p.m. - #10 Missouri def.
#7 Hawaii, 3-1: 30-26, 26-30, 30-27, 30-22
6 p.m. - #15 Tennessee def. #2 Penn St., 30-27, 14-30, 30-27, 33-31
4 p.m. - #15 Tennessee def. #10 Missouri, 3-1: 30-28, 30-27, 25-30, 30-17
Tennessee 3, Missouri 1
Dec. 10, 2005
The No. 17 Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball team earned their first trip ever to the Final Four by way of beating No. 10 Missouri 3-1 (30-28, 30-27, 25-30, 30-17) in University Park, Pa. on Saturday.
The Lady Vols were led by Kristen Andre with 19 kills as Kelsey Fautsch added 16. Julie Knytych dished out 49 assists as Amy Morris led the squad with 21 digs. Sarah Blum led all players with 9 blocks.
Tennessee will play the winner of Wisconsin and Washington on Thursday night in the San Antonio Alamodome.
-- Courtesy Tennessee
NCAA Volleyball Postgame Quotes
Tennessee vs. Missouri (Dec. 10, 2005)
Missouri head coach Wayne Kreklow
"Obviously we are disappointed. It's never easy being in these situations. It's a reality and a fact of life that only one team is going to win. I felt like we were trying. Our players were working really hard to get into some kind of rhythm. I saw that in game three and Tennessee is a great team. Everybody has his or her day, and I think today was Tennessee's day. I can't tell you how proud I am of the way they fought and battled and competed all season. I am happy Lindsay and Lisa had the chance to make it to a regional final."
What happened to the blocking?
"We didn't serve as tough as we normally do. An off-day in one area has an effect on others. One of the reasons we had trouble blocking today is because we didn't serve like we normally do. It's difficult when you have two left-handed outside hitters. We don't get a chance to work against that very much. They were hurting us with the slide most of the day, too. We played a pretty simple game and today we didn't serve tough enough. In game three we finally started to do that."
What can you say about the season as a whole?
"It was really a tremendous season. When we started we were somewhere in the Top 25. We kept working and working and to get to this point in the tournament is really something special. It's always the first group that will remain a pretty special group. It's tough to play two matches in two days. When you get into a tournament situation anything can happen. I don't want our team to hang their heads. There were only eight teams playing today out of around 300."
What can you say about the seniors?
"Those three seniors have been unbelievable. The thing I am most proud of is that those three have stuck with it this long. Over the years you have people come and ago. While they wrote their names in the record books, their impact goes far beyond names and numbers in a media guide."
Senior setter Lindsey Hunter
How can you account for all the errors?
"I don't think it was a lack of preparation or effort. I think we had an off day. It's hard as a team to get out of a rut like that."
Talk about running the middle...
"Going for the middle today was something I stressed. That's one of the reasons we are successful. We run the middle and that leaves the outside open."
Can you talk about the errors?
"I personally had four service errors. For me it was lack of concentration. We tried to serve aggressively but they did a really good job of passing. We could have stayed more aggressive. It's hard to win when you make too many unforced errors."
Senior middle hitter Lisa Boyd
What happened at the beginning of the fourth game?
"We got a little bit out of rhythm. We were trying really hard and sometimes you are trying really hard and you're tense when you should be relaxed."
What made blocking Tennessee so tough?
"I think playing against a left-handed hitter on the outside makes it tough. It's something you need to practice. In the middle we were giving them two options and not taking one away."
What does it mean to be a part of this team?
"It's a great feeling. They are amazing coaches, and I am very lucky to have played five years for them. I'm really excited because I've learned a lot from being here. Being a part of this means everything to me. We made it to the Elite 8, and we have never done that before."
Sophomore libero Tatum Ailes
Looking at next year...
"I think we have some big shoes to fill. I've learned a lot from the seniors. I think this loss hurt everybody, even those who didn't play. We are one of the only teams who stay all summer and put in the effort. The seniors have taught me so much. I'm still learning."
NCAA Volleyball Postgame Quotes
Tennessee vs. Missouri (Dec. 10, 2005)
Tennessee head coach Rob Patrick
"I'd like to thank Penn State for hosting a great Regional. It was first-class and we were treated incredibly well. This was just a total team win. Unfortunately for the people that come watch us play they don't get to watch us practice. When you look at a box score you see Julie [Knytych's] stats and Kelsey [Fautsch's] stats but you don't see what the other players do for us. We're playing this well because we're practicing well. That's what helped us win this match. Missouri is a great team. The one thing I told our players was that we needed to be patient and just wait for our openings and I think that's what happened."
What were your strategies to outblock Missouri?
"I thought when scouting them that we could do some things with our blockers to take them out of some of the patterns they wanted to run. I also thought that with some of the serving that we did, we could also make them become a two-hitter team because of where we served and who we served."
How did you take advantage of Missouri's hitting errors?
"The way our defense was set up had a lot to do with it. Most of the time there was a pretty big block in front of them. The way we set up our defense, they had to hit to Amy Morris and she's going to dig the ball straight out. I think because of little changes we made, Missouri was having trouble trying to find kills with the blocking defense we had set up for them."
Senior setter Julie Knytych
What was your strategy on avoiding blocks from Missouri?
"I'm obviously not hitting but I'm just really confident in my hitters. I know that if I can get them with one block they're going to put the ball away. We don't base our offense on being block leaders, we just go for the kill. I think we did a good job of that tonight. Our hitters are really smart and can hit around the block."
After defeating two top 10 teams, how confident are you going to Texas?
"I think we're really confident. We obviously had this mentality that we've got nothing to lose going into this game. On the national level, we get no respect. We were expecting to get swept by Penn State and then swept by Missouri. We've got something to prove. We're a good team and I think we've shown that the past two days."
Junior outside hitter Sarah Blum
How great of a feeling is it to be part of Tennessee volleyball history?
"It's an amazing feeling. We've worked so hard. We all went to summer school and have been at Tennessee since June, lifting weights, getting up at 6 a.m. and running. Finally all that's paying off. To be part of the Final Four now, it's every volleyball players' dream."
Junior outside hitter Kelsey Fautsch
What was the team's mentality going into game four?
"Basically we just had to go out there and play hard. We had nothing to lose because they still had another game to win to get to game five. We just went out there and played hard and put the pressure on them."
-- Courtesy Penn State
Host: The University of Nebraska, Lincoln
The Qwest Center
Ticket Info: 402/422-1212
5 p.m. - #8 Florida def. #9 Louisville, 3-0: 30-28, 30-25, 30-22
7 p.m. - #1 Nebraska def. #16 UCLA, 3-0: 30-28, 30-23, 30-16
5 p.m. - #1 Nebraska def. #8 Florida, 3-0: 30-26, 30-24, 30-16
NCAA-record crowd of 15,119
Nebraska 3, Florida 0
Dec. 10, 2005
Omaha -- Junior Christina Houghtelling pounded a match-high 18 kills on .615 hitting, the sixth-best postseason total in school history, as the top-ranked Nebraska volleyball team advanced to the program’s ninth national semifinal with a 3-0 sweep (30-26, 30-24, 30-16) of fourth-ranked Florida in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 15,119 Saturday night at the Qwest Center Omaha.
Houghtelling was named the Omaha Region Most Outstanding Player. Teammates Sarah Pavan and Jennifer Saleaumua were also named to the all-region team while Florida’s trio included Angie McGinnis, Amber McCray and Jane Collymore.
Nebraska punched its ticket to next week’s semifinal in San Antonio by hitting .300 as a team, including a blistering .567 in game three, to become the first opponent to hit better than .300 against the Gators this season. While the offense clicked, the Husker defense held Florida to a season-low .084 hitting percentage. The Huskers (32-1) will face the winner of the Palo Alto Region (Arizona or Santa Clara) Thursday, Dec. 15, at 5 p.m. at the Alamodome.
The Huskers have won all 12 games in the 2005 NCAA Tournament and improved to a perfect 4-0 at the Qwest Center this season, with each victory coming via a sweep over a ranked opponent, including three wins over top-five foes.
Husker Nation came out in full force, topping Friday night’s attendance record as Saturday’s attendance was the first volleyball match in NCAA history to have more than 15,000 fans in attendance. The 29,608 all-session attendance was also an NCAA record.
The loss snapped Florida’s 12-match winning streak and ended the Gators’ season at 33-3.
In the early going of game one, Nebraska opened a 5-3 lead before Florida responded with three unanswered points. After a net violation by the Gators that tied the game, Florida ran off three consecutive points to take a 9-6 advantage. Nebraska pulled even at 14-14 and took the lead after a double-stuff block from Tracy Stalls and Sarah Pavan. A Pavan kill extended the Huskers’ advantage to 16-14 and capped a 6-1 run for NU, forcing a Gator timeout.
After the break, Florida stormed back to take a 17-16 lead after scoring the next three points. The Gators enjoyed a 21-18 advantage before the Huskers tied it with a 3-0 run capped by a double-stuff block from Melissa Elmer and Houghtelling. Nebraska retook the lead at 23-22 on an Elmer kill, before the Gators tied it on a kill from Kisya Killingsworth. A Gator service error and a Nebraska block gave the Huskers a 25-23 lead, forcing Florida to take its final timeout of the first game. The teams exchanged point until a Florida attacking error gave the Huskers a 28-25 lead. Leading 29-26, Nebraska clinched the first game when Houghtelling and Stalls combined to block UF’s Kari Klinkenborg on the Huskers’ first match point, one of eight NU blocks in the game.
Houghtelling led Nebraska with five kills on eight swings in the game, as the Huskers hit just .125. Jane Collymore and Killingsworth led Florida with four kills each, as the Gators were held to a .095 hitting percentage in game one.
Nebraska jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the second game, before the Gators closed the gap to 7-6. The Huskers responded with a 4-1 run to take an 11-7 lead and expanded the advantage to 13-8 before a Florida timeout. At the break, Nebraska had produced nine kills on 11 swings without an error and was hitting .818 in the game. NU scored the first two points after the timeout to cap another 4-1 Husker run. Trailing 15-8, the Gators took the next three points to pull to within four and force a Nebraska timeout.
Florida maintained its momentum after the timeout, scoring six consecutive points to run the Gators’ lead to 17-15 before another Nebraska timeout. With Rachel Engel still at the service line for UF, the Gators increased the lead to 18-16 before Elmer ended Florida’s 10-0 run with a kill.
Elmer’s kill ignited a run of four straight Nebraska points, including a Houghtelling kill that ended the longest rally of the night. With the Huskers leading 19-18, the teams traded points until Nebraska won two straight to take a 23-21 advantage and force Florida to burn its final timeout.
NU took control of the game and pushed its lead to 27-21 with freshman Rachel Schwartz serving six straight points. A kill from Jane Collymore ended the Huskers’ run and the squads traded points until Florida pulled to within 28-24. A Houghtelling kill gave the Huskers four consecutive match points and the Cambridge, Neb., native finished the game off with another kill on the next point.
Down two games, Florida responded by taking a quick 3-0 lead in game three, before Nebraska responded with four consecutive points. The game remained close until the Huskers took an 11-8 advantage before a Florida timeout. NU increased the lead to 16-9 before the Gators burned their second timeout.
Nebraska continued to pound away at Florida, racing to a 21-10 lead with a 5-1 run after the timeout. The Huskers pushed their lead to 29-16 on an ace serve from Houghtelling for their largest lead of the match. On match point, Elmer and Pavan combined to stuff Collymore and send the Huskers to San Antonio.
NU will be seeking its third national title at the Alamodome next weekend. Joining the Huskers in San Antonio are Washington and Tennessee, as well as the winner of the Santa Clara/Arizona match late Saturday night.
-- Courtesy Nebraska
Nebraska Head Coach John Cook
"First of all I'm very happy for Melissa (Elmer) and Jen (Saleaumua). They've accomplished everything that they could have in the last four years except this step and winning a national championship, so I'm very happy for those two. To be able to play a regional final today in this atmosphere; what an incredible experience for both teams. I think the play was reflected on a little bit of tension out there. It was an awesome feeling being down there on that court with the crowd into it. It was a great regional final and we're happy we were able to pull it out."
On Nebraska's initial defensive struggle
"At times we can play ugly and still be effective. Both teams were struggling with passing today, and I think it's being in this environment. It just made everyone just a little bit tight. And both teams served very well. But we were able to hang in there through the ugly parts. I think that shows how mentally tough we are. Game one could have gone either way and in game two we made a big run, and I thought that gave us a huge momentum burst going into game three."
On making adjustments
"Once we got to play for a little bit we got a better feel for their tendencies and what they were trying to do. We adjusted really well to that. This team just wears on teams. We're like a Hummer, we're just going to crush everything and plow along. We'll be the last car running. We're not going to drive like a Porsche all the time but we're just going to keep rolling along. This team is hard to play against when you have three hitters coming at you all the time and firepower from everywhere."
On holding the regional in Omaha every year
"The bottom line is that volleyball needs to be where we're selling out arena's like we did tonight. You look at the attendance figures from other regionals and it's a sad statement for the level of support in those communities for regional volleyball. So I think the committee's going to have to take a look at how they're going to continue to grow this. As a coach of Nebraska volleyball I can't tell you how proud I am to see this kind of support. It's a great statement and we have certainly raised the bar for everyone else now."
On taking the lead in game one
"It just takes being disciplined and being aware of everything on the court like where the defense is set up and where you're teammates are. I got some really great sets and I just wanted to get a good swing."
On being the Most Outstanding Player of the regional
"It's a nice award but it was definitely a team effort. Everyone put effort in tonight and everyone deserves it. We're all in this together and we just really came out and executed tonight really well and just had fun."
On Nebraska's confidence
"We had a good week of practice this week and we came in really confident coming off of last night. It seems like we always give up a couple of points at the beginning of every game but about when we hit 20 points we just start to roll. We talked a lot about trust this year and it shows because we stepped up when we needed to."
On the atmosphere at the Qwest Center
"We're basically the only team that gets to see fan support like this every game. With a crowd like this in Omaha, it's awesome. If I were another team coming in I would just think it's amazing. You can't really put it into words until you experience it. I think we played a part in history because you don't see this very often."
On struggling through game one
"Obviously we came out struggling a little bit, but we just always battle. We can't get tentative like we sometimes do and give up three points or more. But I think the whole team's confidence was there. We knew we were going to come out on top."
On her play
"Most of the credit goes to the pass and the set. They do a great job of running the system and I just do what I can to get the kill. That's just what you do. You go out there and play like you can."
On the atmosphere at the Qwest Center
"I think it's great for college volleyball. Nebraska fans are great fans. They applaud all volleyball. For any team to come in and play in front of that is a great experience for them and it's a great opportunity. I'm just glad for the five years I've gotten to be a part of fans like that."
On the impact of Nebraska's defense
"Blocking and digging are definitely things that can wear on a team. They come at you and they get up and it's coming right back at them. It drains them and that's what we're good at. We do it to a lot of teams and you saw at the end that Florida just started to fall apart. It is definitely an advantage we have and something that's been a positive for us all year."
Florida Head Coach Mary Wise
On the game
“We're disappointed that our season ended with a loss, but we lost to a great Nebraska team that played well. I think to win a national championship, you have to have a player that's a player-of-the-year candidate. Sarah Pavan is that, but I think Christina Houghtelling is of that caliber as well. Nebraska is a team that doesn't let you make mistakes. They force you to play almost a perfect game. I'm proud of how our team competed, but the bottom line is that our team wasn't good enough.”
On Nebraska's Christina Houghtelling
“She gave us fits on the front row and with her serve."
On Nebraska's transition game
“Nebraska was good in transition. They were really good going from defense to offense.”
On the Omaha Regional
“We were part of history. There were 15,119 people here today. That does a lot for our sport. It was a challenge to play in this environment, but Nebraska's players won the game. The fans made it a great atmosphere. I think that our sport needs to take small steps, but thanks to Omaha, the University of Nebraska and the state of Nebraska, our sport took a huge step this weekend.”
“If history says anything, the last three teams to beat us in the NCAA Tournament have gone on to win the national championship.”
On Florida's seniors
“These seniors were a part of a lot of wins here.”
On Nebraska's multiple weapons
“In game one, we were right in it, Nebraska had eight blocks. I feel that blocks are a key to a team's success. I thought coming in that we couldn't let Jordan Larson or Jennifer Saleaumua hit over .300. We did a good job with that, but if you stop one player, how do you stop the others? It takes a great team performing well to beat Nebraska.”
On Nebraska's success at the end of the game
“Well-coached teams make adjustments and Nebraska's staff made good adjustments to what was working for us in game one. Give more credit to Nebraska and their execution than us losing momentum.”
On Omaha as a volleyball venue
“I would love to come back. This state loves volleyball, and you sense that whether in the arena or in the airport. The four teams that play here (next year, for the national semifinals and finals) will have a special experience.”
Outside Hitter Jane Collymore
On Nebraska's defense
“They had a good defensive match. That's what kept them going in the match.”
On the atmosphere
“The atmosphere and the energy the crowd creates make your energy level go up.”
On this season
“This team has grown together from the start of the year to the finish. I'm so proud of my teammates.”
Setter Rachel Engel
On Florida's chances as the game wore along
“The whole match, we felt like we were in it. We know that they are hard to stop.”
Host: Texas A&M University
G. Rollie White Coliseum
College Station, Texas
Ticket Info: 888/99AGGIE
5 p.m. -
#11 Wisconsin def. #6 Notre Dame,
3-2: 30-25, 28-30, 30-25, 25-30, 15-9
7 p.m. - #3 Washington def. #14 Purdue, 3-0: 30-25, 30-19, 30-20
5 p.m. - #3 Washington def. #11 Wisconsin, 3-0: 30-28, 30-25, 30-23
Washington 3, Wisconsin 0
Dec. 10, 2005
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 3-seed Washington Huskies advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season with a 30-28, 30-25, 30-23 victory over No. 11-seed Wisconsin in the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball College Station Regional Final Saturday evening at G. Rollie White Coliseum on the Texas A&M campus.
UW (30-1) advanced to the national semifinal match where the Huskies will meet No. 15-seed Tennessee on Thursday evening at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Wisconsin (26-7) saw its season come to an end after making a second straight trip to the quarterfinals.
Despite being out-hit in the first game, which featured 14 ties and five lead changes, the Huskies battled back and fought off several late Wisconsin rallies to win, 30-28.
With the game tied at 24, three consecutive kills by Husky outside hitter Christal Morrison gave UW a three-point advantage. Following a timeout, Wisconsin scored three straight to answer and tie the game. The teams sided out once before another Morrison kill gave the Huskies game point. Darla Myhre and Sanja Tomasevic then blocked an attack by the Badgers' Maria Carlini to seal the victory.
The Huskies then pulled away midway through the second game, withstood a late Wisconsin rally and took a 2-0 match lead into the locker room after a 30-25 win.
The Badgers built a quick 8-3 lead in the third game before UW went on a 10-2 run to take a three-point lead and force a Wisconsin timeout. With Washington holding a one-point lead at 17-16, the Huskies scored the next seven points of the match and cruised to a 30-23 victory.
For the match, the Huskies out-hit Wisconsin, .203 to .162 and posted 56 kills to the Badgers' 42. Wisconsin won the blocking battle, however, 13 to 11.5.
Morrison led the way for UW with a match-high 21 kills while posting four blocks and adding nine digs. Sanja Tomasevic posted her ninth double-double of the year with 17 kills and 13 digs.
Three Wisconsin players each posted 10 kills-Aubrey Meierotto, Sheila Shaw and Audra Jeffers. Shaw hit a team-high .350 with four blocks. Taylor Reineke added a match-high nine blocks.
WASHINGTON HEAD COACH JIM MCLAUGHLIN: Opening Statement... “It was a hot and cold match. We were a little streaky, but we were hot at real important times and kind of held onto this thing. We were fired up for this, but as I told the team in the locker room, we’ll prepare for this normally this next week and upgrade and focus on the things we need to improve, make some improvement and go play in the Final Four.”
On his team’s ability to take control late in the game... “We’ve been pretty good in the later stages of most of the games we’ve played in. I think we step it up. We turn it on and we’re very aggressive in tight situations, which is a characteristic of this team. We got some good swings, and we tend to pass well at the end of the games. Courtney (Thompson) had some options.”
WASHINGTON SOPHOMORE OH CHRISTAL MORRISON: On coming from behind several times in the match... “We always talk about the ebbs and flows of the game and to stay on our task and to stay level. We try not to let those ebbs and flows affect us. We just kept on doing what we wanted to do, and we got back on task and eventually got the momentum.”
WASHINGTON JUNIOR S COURTNEY THOMPSON: On the Husky players around her on the court... “I sure feel like the luckiest setter in the country having our passers. They passed well all game, and they did it last night. The hitters we have – I always have a lot of options. A lot of our hitters were hitting out of rhythm and I was connecting with them, so that was great. But when we started to get it going, there is no panic. We know what we can do, and if it’s not going our way, we know eventually it will so we just have to stick to it.”
On the difference between the trip to the Final Four in 2004 and this year... “It’s a lot different (this year), and one of the big things is expectations. Last year we talked so much about, ‘Lets get to the Final Four. Let’s get one step further,’ and we reached our big goal. Now we want to take it one step further. We want to win it all. We didn’t just want to get there this year.. We’re going to have a good semifinal match, but we want to be in the championship.”
WISCONSIN HEAD COACH PETE WAITE: Opening Statement... "I'm really proud of the way our team competed tonight. I think we just ran into a very good team. It came down to them serving some great balls that kept us out of our offense a little bit and we weren't able to get our middles going like we would have hoped. It's been a great season for this team. We did some awesome things and beat some great teams. It's always tough to go out, but they played hard.
On The Effect of Losing the First Game... "We had a shot at that first game. We gave them a string of shots at the end that really took the momentum over to the Washington side. It was tough to recover after that. They're a team that's been in this position before and they were hungry for it. If we had gotten that first game it might have been a different story. That's a tough serving team. They bring a lot of variety and hit some tough spots. The ball was moving a lot tonight."
WISCONSIN SOPHOMORE S JACKIE SIMPSON: On how Wisconsin's game plan changed in the match... "We had a game plan to really attack the middles and get our middles up quick. I think that was working really well for us. They had great hitters, so it really pulled us out of our offense we like to run."
WISCONSIN SENIOR OH AUBREY MEIEROTTO: On her memories of her career... "As I told my team in the locker room, this is by far the most fun I've ever had on a team since I've been here, and I've been here for five years. It's just an amazing group of girls. Everybody gets along so well. They mesh well and it was really fun. I'm very proud of what we've done, especially these past two years. I think we did a lot of things that were probably unexpected of us. I'm just proud of my teammates."
Washington now leads the series between the schools, 3-1.
Washington has won 21 consecutive games dating back to Nov. 12, its only match loss of the season (five games at No. 21 UCLA).
Washington improved to 18-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with the victory.
Washington advanced to its second consecutive Final Four and second overall. Last season the Huskies fell to eventual national champion Stanford in the semifinals.
Washington's Christal Morrison posted 21 kills, her fourth 20-plus kill performance of the year.
Washington's Sanja Tomasevic notched her ninth double-double of the year with 17 kills and 13 digs.
Wisconsin lost in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. Last season the Badgers lost to eventual national champion Stanford in three games.
Wisconsin fell to 24-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with the loss.
With seven block assists on the night, Wisconsin's Taylor Reineke tied the school record for block assists in a season (181), initally set by Heather Dodaro in 1995.
Wisconsin's Jocelyn Wack tallied 22 digs on the night, setting a new NCAA record for consecutive matches with 10+ digs (64). Her streak dates back to Sept. 4, 2004.
-- Courtesy Texas A&M
Host: Stanford University
The Maples Pavilion
Ticket Info: 800/STANFORD
4:30 p.m. - Santa Clara def. Pepperdine, 3-0: 30-28, 30-23, 30-14
7 p.m. - #4 Arizona def. Ohio, 3-2: 35-37, 30-23, 26-30, 30-18, 15-12
8 p.m. - Santa Clara def, #4 Arizona 22-30, 30-24, 30-26, 15-30, 17-15
Santa Clara 3, Arizona 2
Dec. 9, 2005
Stanford, Calif. - After Santa Clara's second round victory over local rival Stanford University last weekend, junior outside hitter Kim McGiven said that her team didn't come to play in the NCAA Tournament to make it past the second round; they came to play for a berth into the Final Four. And after tonight's thrilling 3-2 win over fourth-seeded Arizona, Santa Clara is dancing its way to San Antonio, Texas, the site of this year's Final Four. "I can't believe it. It's just amazing. It's amazing how we played tonight. We played the game to win and we found a way," said Wallace. "I can't say enough about the program at Santa Clara, the support we get from the administration, the crowd, our fan base was awesome today."
Leading the way for the Broncos was McGiven, who was named the Palo Alto Regional Co-MVP with Arizona's Kim Glass after hammering away 25 kills and picking up 15 digs in the process. Along with McGiven, three other Santa Clara players totaled 10 or more kills. Freshman outside hitter Brittany Lowe posted her 15th double double of the season with 11 kills and 14 digs, while sophomore middle blockers Annalisa Muratore and Anna Cmaylo had 10 kills each in the winning effort. Sophomore libero Caroline Walters led the way on defense, making incredible saves all over the court on her way to 20 digs, while senior opposite Cassie Perret added 18 saves of her own. Sophomore setter Crystal Matich directed the attack, handing out 54 assists and adding nine digs. Up at the net, Muratore recorded a team-high three blocks, while McGiven and Lowe had two blocks each. Although Arizona bested Santa Clara in almost every statistical category at the end of the night, head coach Jon Wallace said that what mattered the most was how hard his team fought for each and every point.
"If you look at the stats I think we lost in every category but we found a way to win, and I think in athletics that's the way you play the game," said Wallace. "You teach your girls to have some heart, work hard, be smart and never give up and that's what they did tonight."
This was the second time in 2005 that Santa Clara and Arizona faced off, with the Broncos winning both encounters. The victory caps off the most successful season in school history, as SCU had never been past the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 10 tries. The historical milestone is certainly not lost on the team and what it means to chart grounds that only a select few before have done.
"During the game you try not to think about [advancing to the Final Four], but still, you're in shock. It's the most amazing thing I've ever been a part of; tonight was one of the most amazing nights of my life," said Walters.
In the opening frame, Arizona took a 5-2 lead off of two quick kills by Glass, but Santa Clara managed to tie it up at 9-9 after middle blocker Bre Ladd interfered with one of Matich's sets. The Wildcats strung together three straight points and regained control of the game with timely dumps by setter Amy Dyck and outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy. After a kill by Abernathy made the score 18-12, Wallace took a timeout to calm down his troops. The Broncos played some amazing floor defense to keep the score close and McGiven's powerful attacks from the left side and the back row enabled her team to close the gap to 22-18 after a kill, forcing Arizona's Dave Rubio to call a timeout. The Wildcats were able to extend their lead to seven points after an Abernathy back row kill, and took game one 30-22 after a tip by Glass was untouched.
To start off the second frame, Santa Clara took the first three points behind a strong jump floater by Lowe and a solo block by McGiven maintained the three-point advantage at 6-3. A thundering back row kill extended the score to 8-4 and Rubio used a timeout to stop the momentum. Santa Clara took a six-point advantage after a mishandled ball by Dyck made it 13-7, but Arizona rallied behind the smart hitting of Glass and closed the gap to 13-10 before Wallace burned a timeout. The two teams traded points back and forth, though the Broncos forged ahead at 26-21 thanks to a series of Wildcat errors. SCU was able to reach game point after a Lowe ace and Perret and Muratore teamed up for a block to win game two 30-24.
After the eight-minute intermission, Perret got Santa Clara off to a great start, blasting the ball deep into the back row for a point. Rubio used an early timeout after his team fell behind early 5-2 and his team responded by going on a 6-3 run to tie it up at 8-8. McGiven immediately put her team back on top with a kill and a Matich ace gave SCU a slim cushion. The two squads traded blows back and forth until the Broncos took an 18-15 edge after a McGiven ace, forcing Rubio to use another timeout. Lowe was instrumental in extending her team's lead to 23-16 with her stellar play up at the net. Arizona closed the gap to 25-21 after a Ladd ace and Wallace wisely used a timeout to stop the opponent's momentum. The Broncos' head coach was forced to use his second and final timeout of the game after hitting errors by Cmaylo and Lowe brought the Wildcats to within two points at 28-26. However, Lowe gave her team a game point by slipping the ball through the double block on the subsequent play and sealed game three at 30-28 for SCU with another kill.
In the fourth game, Cmaylo and McGiven had two kills apiece to forge a tight 6-4 lead, but Arizona was able to grab its first lead of the match since game one at 8-7 and never looked back. The Wildcats raced ahead to an 18-9 advantage behind suffocating net defense and powerful hitting by Glass, forcing Wallace to use a timeout. Unfortunately for Santa Clara, Arizona cruised to victory the rest of the way and an Abernathy ace capped off the 30-15 game four victory.
In the fifth and final game, Santa Clara bolted to a 4-0 lead after two Perret kills and two Arizona errors, causing Rubio to call a timeout to stop the bleeding. The Wildcats were able to rally behind Abernathy's tough jump floater, but kills by Muratore and McGiven pushed the lead back up to 6-3. The Pac-10 runner-ups threatened once again after drawing to within 6-5, but a Cmaylo kill kept the two-point lead alive. The two teams traded points until Lowe blocked a back row attack by Glass, forcing Rubio to use his second and final timeout of the match at 10-7. However, Arizona used a 4-1 run to tie it up at 11-11 and the two teams traded blows back and forth until Santa Clara reached its second match point at 16-15 thanks to a McGiven blast on the left. A Glass attack error gave SCU the match and the Broncos officially their punched ticket to San Antonio.
In addition to McGiven's regional honors, Lowe, Matich, and Walters all earned a place on the all-tournament team, joining Arizona's Jennifer Abernathy and Ohio's Savanah Parra.
Santa Clara improves its overall record to 27-4, tying the most wins in a single season, and will take on No. 1 Nebraska (32-1) in the Final Four on Thursday, December 15 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Game time has not yet been determined.
Postseason Quotes from the Santa Clara-Arizona Elite Eight Match
Quotes and comments following the NCAA Elite Eight
Santa Clara Head Coach Jon Wallace
On the game:
"I can't believe it. It's just amazing. It's amazing how we played tonight. We played the game to win and we found a way, we worked a way. If you look at the stats I think we lost in every category but we found a way to win, and I think in athletics that's the way you play the game. You teach your girls to have some heart, work hard, be smart and never give up and that's what they did tonight. I had a great feeling going into deuce games, we practice it all the time, and we felt comfortable in a deuce game, we really did. I knew we were going to be able to be steady mentally and emotionally and we were going to take and make the right swings and it paid off for us. I can't give enough credit to this team about finding a way to win, being creative, playing outside the box when Arizona did a really great job against us tonight. They took us out of our comfort zone all night long, and we made being uncomfortable comfortable, and I think that was the difference in the match. I can't say enough about the program at Santa Clara, the support we get from the administration, the crowd, our fan base was awesome today."
On the senior class:
"Four years ago, they made this happen at Santa Clara, and my belief is that they wanted strong commitment, wanted things done here and they wanted to be successful. We got great kids in that recruiting group, and they made it happen. Cassie Perret, Kim McGiven, Caroline Walters...how about those digs by Caroline Walters tonight? I could go on and on, I tell you this is a great victory for our school, our program, but more importantly though for these girls that worked so hard to make it happen, they deserve it."
Santa Clara Outside Hitter Kim McGiven
On the fan support:
"The fan support we've gotten has been amazing. Our school has really pulled together and shown a lot of spirit. The students have taken a lot of pride in our program and come out to support us all year and it really showed tonight."
On being a point from elimination in Game Five:
"I'm going back thinking, `I want this set and I want to hammer this ball.' That's what every hitter and every passer is thinking that we hope they are serving this ball to me."
Santa Clara Opposite Hitter Cassie Perret
On being a point from elimination in Game Five:
"Just being aggressive and staying focused and swinging harder. Every game is a clean slate, you just start aggressively and the most aggressive team will win."
Santa Clara Libero Caroline Walters
On going to the Final Four:
"During the game you try not to think about that, but still, you're in shock. It's the most amazing thing I've ever been a part of; tonight was one of the most amazing nights of my life."
Arizona Head Coach Dave Rubio
On the game:
"Well you never like losing, but I don't mind losing to a good friend who's done a heck of a job at Santa Clara in a match that went down to the wire. I'm proud of the way that we played, I'm proud of the seniors. Santa Clara really played well tonight and it's just disappointing to lose."
On Game Five:
"In terms of what was on the line, certainly. When all the marbles are on the table, we had a swing to go to the Final Four, and you can't ask for more than that. Unfortunately we came up just a little bit short this time."
On Kim Glass' performance:
"All year long, Kim's been our go-to person, and she's been the one putting us on her back, and tonight we just didn't get that one swing down to the floor. Sometimes that's the way it goes. Unfortunately it didn't go down and we just couldn't seem to side-out enough to get that last point."
On Santa Clara's adjustments after Game 1:
"They did a nice job, we were playing a cat-and-mouse game all night. We had a pretty strong idea about their tendencies and I thought in Game 1 that we really exploited those tendencies but they immediately in Game Two changed their strategy. Interestingly enough, their strength is really in the middle with Cmaylo and Muratore, and the two people who beat us were McGiven and Lowe. We were trying to block the line all night and they were hitting the ball through the low seam."
On Game 5:
"We've certainly been there enough times to not ever panic when we're down two games to one. In the fifth game we were down 4-0, and we came back and put ourselves in a position to take a swing to go to the Final Four and so I don't think we're ever going to back down in that situation with the group that we have, we just weren't good enough at the very end to make things happen and go our way."
On Arizona's struggles in the match:
"When you start to rely on just your outside hitters to carry you, it's going to end up hurting you."
On Santa Clara's chances in the Final Four:
"Anything can happen in the tournament. The thing I like is that they're playing on a neutral floor and Jon's going to prepare his team really well. One thing this tournament's shown you is that there's no certainty in anything. There are two teams now in the Final Four in Santa Clara and Tennessee who would be 100-1 shots in Vegas in the beginning of the season. You have a team like that going to the Final Four and that says a lot about our sport."
-- Courtesy Santa Clara
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (1 Site, 4 Teams):
December 15 and 17, 2005
FINAL FOUR - Semi Finals & Finals:
10-11:30 a.m. - Washington - Open Practice
11:35-1:05 p.m. - Tennessee - Open Practice
1:20-2:50 p.m. - Nebraska - Open Practice
2:55-4:25 p.m. - Santa Clara - Open Practice
4:30 p.m. - Gates open to public
4:30-11 p.m. - NCAA Info Zone open
SEMI FINAL #1
p.m. - Washington vs. Tennessee (ESPNU)
8:30 p.m. (approx.) - Autograph session with Washington/Tennessee
SEMI FINAL #2
(Semifinal 2 begins 30 minutes following completion of Semifinal 1)
8:30 p.m. (approx.) - Nebraska vs. Santa Clara (ESPNU)
10:30 p.m. (approx.) - Autograph session with Nebraska/Santa Clara
3:30 p.m. - Gates open to public
3:30 p.m. - Autograph session with All-Americans & 25th Anniversary Team
3:30-5 p.m. - NCAA Info Zone open
p.m. - Championship Match (ESPN2)
8 p.m. (approx.) - Autograph session
NOTE: All times Central
National Championship: Washington 3, Nebraska 0
Dec. 17, 2005
SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Washington swept top-seeded Nebraska on Saturday to win its first NCAA women's volleyball championship.
It was the sixth sweep in six tournament matches for the Huskies (32-1) and their 28th in 32 overall this season. Christal Morrison was chosen as the tournament MVP after leading Washington with 15 kills and nine digs.
The scores were 30-26, 30-25 and 30-26.
Nebraska (33-2) swept five opponents in the tournament before meeting Washington.
The Cornhuskers scored five of the first six points in the third game. They led 10-7 and 15-11 before Washington forced the first tie at 18-18 and then went ahead 20-19.
It appeared Nebraska got even at 25 on Jordan Larson's block, but she was ruled for a net violation. It gave the Huskies a 26-24 lead, and the Cornhuskers were unable to rally.
Washington set the tone in the first game.
Neither team was able to hit at better than a .087 percentage, but Washington had more production on defense. The Huskies recorded 25 digs of Nebraska kill attempts in the opening game compared to 17 for the Cornhuskers. Sanja Tomasevic, an all-tournament selection, led the Huskies with eight digs in the game and 13 for the match.
Washington, which led the nation in hitting percentage this year, managed a .237 hitting percentage compared to Nebraska's .185. The Cornhuskers' Sarah Pavan had a match-high 16 kills.
But the Huskies had 61 digs compared to 51 for Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers, who had 10 more blocks in their semifinal match than Santa Clara, could only manage one more than the Huskies.
Sanja Tomasevic, Washington
Courtney Thompson, Washington
Sarah Pavan, Nebraska
Kristen Andre, Tennessee
Jennifer Saleaumua, Nebraska
Christina Houghtelling, Nebraska
Christal Morrison, Washington
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Christal Morrison, Washington
#3 Washington def. #11 Wisconsin, 3-0: 30-28, 30-25, 30-23
#15 Tennessee def. #10 Missouri, 3-1: 30-28, 30-27, 25-30, 30-17
#1 Nebraska def. #8 Florida, 3-0: 30-26, 30-24, 30-16
Santa Clara def. #4 Arizona, 3-2: 22-30, 30-24, 30-26, 15-30, 17-15
Thursday, December 15 • 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 15 • 8:00 p.m.
30-25, 30-19, 30-21
30-24, 30-19, 30-21
Saturday, December 17 • 5:00 p.m.
There are three ways to purchase tickets to the 2005 Championship:
* All-session tournament pass through TicketMaster
* Group tickets of ten or more
* Contributor Packages through the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee
Two Day Tournament Pass - $45
Buy Now at TicketMaster.com
Contact Ticketmaster outlets by phone at 210-224-9600.
Tickets may also be purchased at the Alamodome Box Office.
Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. - 100 Montana Street
Television Broadcast Schedule
Sat 12/10 4 PM ESPNU Live Div. I Women's Volleyball regional final #1
Sat 12/10 6 PM ESPNU Live Div. I Women's Volleyball regional final #2 or #3
Sat 12/10 11 PM ESPNU Live Div. I Women's Volleyball regional final #4
Sun 12/11 1 AM ESPNU Delay Div. I Women's Volleyball regional final #2 or #3
Thu 12/15 7 PM ESPNU Live Div. I Women's Volleyball semifinal #1
Thu 12/15 9 PM ESPNU Live Div. I Women's Volleyball semifinal #2
Thu 12/15 11 PM ESPN2 Delay Div. I Women's Volleyball semifinal #1
Fri 12/16 2 PM ESPN2 Delay Div. I Women's Volleyball semifinal #2
Sat 12/17 6 PM ESPN2 Live Div. I Women's Volleyball Championship
Notes: TV listings are in Eastern Time and subject to change.
Please consult your local listings.
In addition, NCAA championships are frequently re-aired on ESPNU.
DirectTV: ESPNU = 609, ESPN2 = 209
1 Griffin, Maggie S 6-0 So. St. Charles, Ill. (Michigan State) (Rosary)
5 Schwartz, Rachel L 5-9 Fr. Lincoln, Neb. (East)
1 Brittany Lowe 6-0 OH FR HS Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
1 Stevie Mussie OH 5-9 Jr./TR Puyallup, Wash./Puyallup HS/Pacific Kent Juniors VBC
1 Yuliya Stoyanova OH/RS 6-1
So.-1L Sofia, Bulgaria (81 SOU Victor Hugo H.S.)
2006 Omaha, Nebraska at the Omaha Convention Center and Arena. The University of Nebraska, Lincoln, will host the event December 14 and 16.
2007 Sacramento, California at the ARCO Arena. California State University, Sacramento, will host the event December 13 and 15.
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