First team all-BIG EAST performer Toni Alugbue leads the Irish into the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday.

Irish Earn At-Large Spot In NCAA Tourney; Play No. 14 Ohio State Friday

Nov. 25, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s volleyball team has earned an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament field and will meet the Big Ten’s Ohio State Buckeyes at 5 p.m. (ET) Friday in Lexington, Ky., the NCAA Division I Volleyball Selection Committee announced Sunday.

Notre Dame (20-9) advances to its first NCAA Tournament since 2009 and will do battle with the No. 14 Buckeyes (22-10) for the right to play Kentucky (20-10) or East Tennessee State (23-12) in the second round of the tournament. The host Wildcats are the No. 16 seed in the field of 64 teams.

The Irish had a strong tournament resume as they knocked off two top-six RPI teams in Louisville (No. 4) and Kansas (No. 6), while eight of their nine losses came to team’s in the RPI top 60, including four in the top 25. The team won 20 matches for the 19th time in school history and the first since 2009 and finished tied for second during the regular season in the BIG EAST.

Notre Dame must snap a three-match losing streak in order to advance to the second round for the first time since 2005 when the Irish advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to No. 12 Wisconsin in five sets.

Ohio State finished fourth in a tough Big Ten behind nationally ranked teams Penn State (No. 1), Nebraska (No. 10) and Minnesota (No. 11).

Complete information on the 2012 NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament as well as the matchup between the Irish and the Buckeyes will be available on later in the week.