Action begins Friday, Dec. 1, at the NU Coliseum when the Winthrop Eagles of the Big South Conference (34-2) take on the Northern Iowa Panthers of the Missouri Valley Conference (27-7) at 5 p.m. Nebraska (27-1) will play in the evening's second match and will take on the American University Eagles of the Patriot League (25-6) beginning at 7 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first match. The second round will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m., as Friday's winners will square off for a right to compete in the Gainesville Regional, Dec. 8-9.
Tickets for the first
and second rounds in Lincoln are already sold out and the four predetermined
regional sites for 2006 are Gainesville, Fla. (Florida), Austin, Texas (Texas),
Seattle Wash. (Washington) and Honolulu, Hawaii (Hawaii). The 2006 NCAA
Championships will take place in
The 2006 season marks
the 22nd time that
The Huskers were one
of six Big 12 schools to qualify for the tournament. In addition to the Huskers,
The Huskers, who
earned the Big 12's automatic berth with a 19-1 conference record, is led by Big
12 Player of the Year Sarah Pavan, a two-time AVCA first-team All-American who
leads the Big 12 with 5.22 kills per game and is hitting .311 on the season. NU
also features outside hitter Jordan Larson (4.23 kills and 3.40 digs per game),
American is making its
sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth overall after winning the
Patriot League title. The Eagles, who traveled to
Friday, Dec. 1
Northern Iowa (27-7) vs.
American (25-6) vs.
Saturday, Dec. 2
Friday's Winners 5 p.m. (Winner advances to Gainesville Regional)
"Our first worry was whether we would be at home, and get to play at the Coliseum again. So that certainly was a relief to see that come up, that we get to be at home for the first and second rounds. What's so important about that is really that our players don't have to miss class time, because we know that if we do advance, our players will miss class time leading into finals. That takes a lot of stress off of our team right there. I think there is going to be a lot of interesting teams. I know American is the tallest team in the country, so that will be interesting. Northern Iowa is traditionally a great program, and
On being the No. 1 seed for the third straight year
"I hadn't even thought of that until they mentioned it. I think it's just a reflection of how consistent we've been as a program. That our players are working all year round to put themselves in that position, and it's something we should be really proud of. It is an amazing accomplishment."
On the No. 1 seed and hosting at home for the first and second rounds
"Every draw is all going to come down to match-ups, and who's hot and who's playing well. The good thing is that travel-wise, we're in a good situation. Being at home (for the first and second rounds) is really important. I think that when you look at a draw, being home is about as good as it can get. I don't think us being at home had anything to do with us sweeping
On knowing all the places
"Now that we know what our path is, and we know what we have to do. Now what we know what we're playing for. We know our route to get to
On the team playing its best volleyball of the season at this point
"We had to replace three great players from last year, and even though we were inconsistent at times in the beginning of the season, I think it's really coming together now. (Senior libero) Dani Busboom is really becoming a leader at libero, our freshmen are becoming more comfortable, and I think (senior outside hitter) Dani Mancuso has realized that if she makes big plays, we're a great team. It is really coming together for them now, and I think that's what you want as a coach. There's no magic formula, but it's the path they're on, and that's what I want to see."