Vandals make NCAA Volleyball Tournament!

Congratulations to the Idaho Women's Volleyball team for earning a bid to NCAA 64-team tournament! Idaho, one of 6 teams invited from the Big West, makes its first Tourney appearance since 1995. Idaho (winners of 12 of their last 14 matches) takes on powerful #2 seed Hawai'i, the lone WAC rep, Dec 4th in Honolulu.<br> <br> A hearty congratulations to the team, and especially to the effort head coach <b>Debbie Buchanan</b> has put in since 2000 to rebuild the Vandal Volleyball program!

Link to Official UI Release

Link to NCAA Official Site


Message from IdahoBoy (our much appreciated Volleyball "correspondent")
To view the match live on streaming video (or archived for a later viewing after about a week) turn your browsers to www.k5thehometeam.com and click the links for UH Volleyball.

To listen to the broadcast, from who I think is one of the top 2 volleyball play-by-play announcers in the nation, Scott Robbs of KKEA 1420 sports radio, tune into www.kkea1420am.com

The match starts about 7:00 HST, which is 2 hours AFTER Pacific time, so you'll be looking at a late Thursday night at about 9:00 PST (depending on the length of the preceding match).


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INDIANAPOLIS --- The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee announced today the 64-team field for the 2003 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 Southern California, Hawaii, Florida and Pepperdine. 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 Ten led all conferences with seven teams selected. Four conferences landed six teams including the Big 12, Big West, Pacific-10 and West Coast. Four teams Pacific (California), Penn State, Stanford and UC Santa Barbara have earned bids to all 23 championships. Ten teams are making their initial appearances in the tournament: Dayton, Kansas, Murray State, New Mexico State, Nicholls State, Ohio, St. Mary's (California), San Francisco, Valparaiso and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

In the 23-year history of the championship nine schools have been crowned champion, all of which are in this year's bracket, including the defending champion Southern California.

Additional past winners making the field are Stanford (1992, 94, 96, 97, 2001), Hawaii (1982, 83, 87), Long Beach State (1989, 93, 98), UCLA (1984, 90, 91), Pacific (California) (1985, 86), Nebraska (1995 and 2000), Southern California (1981, 2003) and Penn State (1999).

First- and second-round matches will be played at 16 campus sites. A list of the first-round match-ups follows.

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA REGIONAL
December 5-6 at Southern California
Cal State Northridge (16-12) vs. Loyola Marymount (25-6)
Southern California (29-0) vs. New Hampshire (23-11)

December 5-6 at Texas A&M
Arizona (17-14) vs. Wisconsin (21-10)
Nicholls State (18-14) vs. Texas A&M (21-9)

December 5-6 at Michigan State
Nebraska (26-4) vs. Valparaiso (27-7)
Dayton (25-9) vs. Michigan State (19-11)

December 5-6 at UCLA
Missouri (18-10) vs. UC Irvine (23-9)
San Diego (17-12) vs. UCLA (21-8)


LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA REGIONAL
December 4-5 at Stanford
Pacific (California) (17-13) vs. San Francisco (23-7)
Stanford (23-6) vs. Sacramento State (23-11)

December 5-6 at Washington
Santa Clara (20-10) vs. Utah (20-8)
Northwestern (18-14) vs. Washington (19-8)

December 5-6 at Minnesota
UC Santa Barbara (19-8) vs. Northern Iowa (27-5)
Minnesota (22-10) vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay (23-10)

December 4-5 at Pepperdine
Kansas (21-10) vs. Long Beach State (19-10)
Manhattan (21-13) vs. Pepperdine (25-2)


GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA REGIONAL
December 4-5 at Florida
Cincinnati (27-5) vs. UCF (22-6)
Florida (31-1) vs. Georgia Southern (27-9)

December 5-6 at Maryland
George Mason (16-14) vs. Colorado State (28-4)
Maryland (26-7) vs. American (22-9)

December 5-6 at Penn State
Pittsburgh (25-5) vs. Pennsylvania (20-6)
Penn State (28-4) vs. Robert Morris (23-11)

December 5-6 at Kansas State
Southwest Missouri State (27-5) vs. Arkansas (26-6)
Ohio (28-4) vs. Kansas State (28-4)


HONOLULU, HAWAII REGIONAL
December 4-5 at Georgia Tech
Winthrop (24-12) vs. Florida A&M (26-3)
Georgia Tech (31-3) vs. Alabama A&M (23-5)

December 5-6 at California
Colorado (21-9) vs. Michigan (20-11)
St. Mary's (California) (20-12) vs. California (23-6)

December 5-6 at Illinois
Notre Dame (23-6) vs. Louisville (24-5)
Illinois (24-6) vs. Murray State (24-5)

December 4-5 at Hawaii
New Mexico State (30-4) vs. Brigham Young (22-8)
Idaho (19-10) vs. Hawaii (32-1)


Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play December 12 and 13. For the first time, there are pre-determined regional sites (Gainesville, Florida; Lincoln, Nebraska; Long Beach, California and Honolulu, Hawaii). The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by the Big 12 Conference and the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas on December 18 and 20.

For more information about the championship, log on to www.ncaasports.com .




IN OTHER VOLLEYBALL NEWS....

IDAHO LANDS 3 ON ALL-BIG WEST TEAM
(from the official Idaho site)

IRVINE, Calif.— University of Idaho middle blockers Anna-Marie Hammond and Sarah Meek have both been named to the 2003 Big West All-Conference First Team. This is Hammond's second consecutive Big West First Team selection and the first for Meek. Junior setter Mandy Becker was also honored by the Big West as she received Honorable Mention recognition.

Hammond, a native of Long Beach, Calif., led the Vandals in kills for the third straight season and hitting percentage for her fourth consecutive season and was second in blocks. She finished the regular season hitting .332, the fourth best percentage in UI single season history. Her 482 kills on the year was the eighth best single season mark at Idaho. Hammond, who was named Big West Player of the Week twice this season, ranked in the top 10 in the Big West in hitting percentage (6th), kills (4th), points (4th), and blocks (3rd).

In her final season as a Vandal Hammond left her mark on the UI record books. She currently ranks fourth in career kills (1,430), second in career double-figure kill matches (76), fifth in career hitting percentage (.286), seventh in career solo blocks (90), and second in block assists (479).

Meek, a junior from Sherwood Park, Alberta, led the Vandals in blocks and was second on the team in kills and hitting percentage. Her 123 block assists this year ranks seventh on the UI single season list and moved her into ninth on the career block assist list (273). Meek led the Big West in blocks this season, averaging 1.46 per game and was ninth in hitting percentage (.294).

Becker earned honorable mention after leading the Vandals in assists and aces and ranking second on the team in digs. She recorded 1,340 assists this season, passing her previous mark of 1,284 for seventh on the UI single season assist list. Becker also ranked fifth on the single season dig per game list with 3.32. Her 2,807 career assists is currently fourth on the Idaho career assist list. She finished the season in the top 10 in the Big West for assists (3rd), digs (8th), and service aces (9th).

The Vandals finished the 2003 regular season with a 19-10 overall mark, 10-8 in the Big West. Their 10 conference wins is the most since the 1997 season and their 19 overall wins is the best since 1996.

Pacific's Jennifer Joines was named the 2003 Big West Player of the Year. UC Santa Barbara's Olivia Waldowski was named Big West Freshman of the Year while UCSB's Kathy Gregory was tabbed Coach of the Year.





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