The Sooners earned their fourth-straight ticket to the NCAA Tournament, never before done in the history of Oklahoma volleyball.
Nov. 25, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma volleyball team faces Pac-12 member Arizona State (20-13, 9-11 Pac 12) in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship Friday evening in Provo, Utah at the Smith Fieldhouse.
No. 12 national seed Brigham Young (BYU) is the host, and faces New Mexico State in the other opening round match Friday night. Saturday’s winner will advance to the Omaha Regional. A free webcast of all matches will be available at byucougars.com.
“It’s a great accomplishment for the University of Oklahoma and the volleyball program here,” said Sooner head coach Santiago Restrepo on his team’s selection.
“To make it into the NCAA Tournament the last four years means that we have had great players go and continue to come through the program,” explained Restrepo. “It means that we have had very good coaches and support staff helping them along in every way.”
Oklahoma finished the regular season with a 21-10 record and 10-6 mark in Big 12 action. The Sooners surpassed the 20-win mark for the 16th time in program history, and fifth since Restrepo took over the program in 2004, totaling 20-or-more wins in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and now in 2012.
The 20 total wins in 2012 marks the second time in Oklahoma history and first time in 27 years that the volleyball team has secured 20-plus wins in three consecutive seasons. Restrepo now follows in the footsteps of long-time Sooner coach Miles Pabst who accomplished the feat between 1983-1985, with records of 25-12, 22-10 and 27-13, respectively.
“Hopefully we can continue the success that we have had. For those players that are going to stay here, hopefully they can learn throughout this experience so they can learn what we need to do in order to continuously get better so that we can get back to the NCAA Tournament every year.”
Friday’s matchup will be the first between the Sooners and Sun Devils, as Arizona State makes its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006.
Oklahoma has faced First and Second Round host BYU five times since 1981. The Cougars lead the series 4-1, but it was the Sooners that walked off the court with the win in their last meeting on Sept. 11, 2004 in Provo.
The Sooners entered 2012 after a program-best third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament following the 2011 season, and continues that success with a fourth-straight trip with a bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament – never before accomplished in the history of Oklahoma Volleyball.
The selection marks Oklahoma’s ninth appearance in the NCAA Championship, and sixth under Restrepo. The Sooners are 8-8 all-time in postseason play, and advanced to the regionals in 2010 and 2006.
The Sooners will now have participated in post-season competition six of the past seven years, and since the program began in 1974. Oklahoma’s eight total NCAA Championship appearances, since the program began in 1974, include three first-round (1987, 2009, 2011), two second-round (1997, 2007) and three third-round (1988, 2006, 2010) appearances.
Four other Big 12 teams join Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament in No. 3 seed Texas, No. 11 seed Kansas, No. 15 seed Iowa State and Kansas State.
First and second round competition of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship is held at 16 campus sites Nov. 29-30 or Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Winners advance to four regional tournaments, held Dec. 7-8.
The four predetermined sites are: Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif., CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb., Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas, and Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. Regional semifinals will be telecast on ESPN3 with regional finals available on ESPNU.
Each quarterfinal winner will advance to semifinal action in Louisville, Ky., held Thursday, Dec. 13 at 6 or 8 p.m. CT at the KFC YUM! Center. The national championship match will be played at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 15. Both the national semifinal and national championship will be on ESPN2/ESPN3.