Dec. 4, 2005
After the sixth-seeded and 11th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s volleyball team (30-3) was one of just two teams to earn trips to the round of 16 of the 2005 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship on Friday, the remainder of the field for next week’s regionals was set Saturday night. The Irish will next face 11th-seeded and 13th-ranked Wisconsin (25-6) on Friday at 5 p.m. (CST) in G. Rollie White Coliseum on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. Notre Dame’s official athletics website, und.com, will provide live internet audio, available to subscribers of Fighting Irish All-Access.
The other round-of-16 match in the College Station Regional will see third-ranked and third-seeded Washington (28-1) take on 21st-ranked and 14th-seeded Purdue (25-8) on Friday at 7 p.m. (CST). The winners will play on Saturday at 5 p.m. for a berth in the NCAA semifinals, set for Dec. 15 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The national title match will be on Dec. 17 in the same venue.
ESPNU will provide television coverage of this weekend’s regionals, though details have not yet been released. It is channel 609 on DirecTV and channel 148 on Dish Network and is also available on many cable packages.
The official site of Irish athletics will continue a tradition of providing live internet audio for every volleyball NCAA tournament match since the current group of seniors stepped on campus in 2002. Stephen Hinkel and Chris Masters, both former volleyball sports information directors and veterans of calling Notre Dame volleyball, will provide the call again. They already have combined to bring fans a total of 16 audio broadcasts this seasons, an all-time high.
Notre Dame – carrying an all-time high seeding of No. 6 – played host to first- and second-round action in the NCAA tournament last weekend. The Irish outlasted Atlantic-10 champion Dayton in a five-game affair in the opening round and then swept Northwestern in the second round. Thirteen of the 16 national seeds advanced to the second weekend of play, with all three upsets coming in the Palo Alto Regional, which will feature just one seeded team. Fourth-seeded Arizona will take on Ohio in the round of 16, after the Bobcats beat 13th-seeded Ohio State to reach the final 16 for the first time ever. Santa Clara also will make its first trip to the round of 16, after knocking off fifth-seeded Stanford in the second round. The Broncos will take on fellow West Coast Conference member Pepperdine, after the Waves defeated 12th-seeded USC.
The BIG EAST Conference will have two squads among the final 16 in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever, as ninth-seeded Louisville will take part in the Omaha Regional.
Notre Dame will head to College Station for the second time this season, after taking part in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic, hosted by the displaced Tulane University, from Sept. 16-18. The Irish beat the host 3-0 and then suffered their first defeat of the season, a five-game affair against Louisiana State. Notre Dame is 3-1 all-time in White Coliseum, having also beaten Texas A&M there in 1987 and ’94.
Friday will be the seventh all-time meeting between ND and Wisconsin, the third in the NCAA Championship. The Badgers lead the series 5-1, including a 3-0 win in the second round of last year’s NCAAs and a four-game victory in the round of 16 in Notre Dame’s last time advancing that deep in the tournament (1997). ND’s only victory over the Badgers came in 1987 in a four-game match in the Joyce Center.
The Irish and Badgers faced five common opponents this season: Loyola Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, Valparaiso, and Villanova. Notre Dame went 6-0 against that group (two wins against the Wildcats), winning 18 of 19 games. Wisconsin posted a 6-1 record vs. those opponents (two wins over Northwestern, 1-1 vs. Michigan), winning 20 of 23 games.
For ticket and facility information, please consult aggieathletics.com.