Nov. 29, 2011
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Interactive NCAA Tournament Bracket
Opponents: Pepperdine (22-6), Thursday, December 1, 9:30 p.m.
Cal/North Carolina winner (if necessary), Friday, December 2, 9 p.m.
Site: Firestone Fieldhouse
Location: Malibu, Calif.
Live Stats: Pepperdine match
Live Video: www.PepperdineSports.com
Live Audio: www.PepperdineSports.com
The Missouri State volleyball team (22-8, 15-3 Missouri Valley Conference) earned an at-large bid into its seventh NCAA Tournament in the last nine seasons and will begin play against the No. 15 overall seed Pepperdine (22-6, 15-1 West Coast Conference) at 9:30 p.m. Central on Thursday in Malibu, Calif.
The other two teams in Malibu are California (26-6, 16-6 Pac-12) and North Carolina (23-8, 15-5 Atlantic Coast Conference). Cal and UNC play at 7 p.m. Thursday, and the first-round winners are scheduled to play at 9 p.m. Friday for the right to advance to the third and fourth rounds in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The regional is set up to be an offensive showcase, as all four teams rank in the top 27 nationally this week in terms of kills per set.
NCAA Tournament History
Missouri State is making its 10th NCAA appearance in the 30-year history of the event, and is 1-9 all-time. The Bears also made the field in 1982, 1990, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Below is a list of previous tournament results:
• 1982 - Texas def. Missouri State; 15-10, 8-15, 15-7, 15-13 (Austin, Texas)
• 1990 - Hawaii def. Missouri State; 15-4, 15-11, 15-4 (Honolulu, Hawaii)
• 1993 - Illinois def. Missouri State; 15-7, 15-13, 17-15 (Springfield, Mo.)
• 2003 - Arkansas def. Missouri State; 30-26, 30-28, 16-30, 30-26 (Manhattan, Kan.)
• 2005 - Missouri def. Missouri State; 30-27, 30-18, 16-30, 30-26 (Columbia, Mo.)
• 2006 - Missouri State def. Arkansas; 28-30, 30-21, 30-27, 30-28 (Fayetteville, Ark.)
• 2006 - Oklahoma def. Missouri State; 30-19, 30-22, 30-19 (Fayetteville, Ark.)
• 2007 - Oregon def. Missouri State; 31-29, 30-20, 31-29 (Manhattan, Kan.)
• 2008 - UAB def. Missouri State; 25-17, 25-21, 25-17 (Lincoln, Neb.)
• 2010 - Auburn def. Missouri State; 25-15, 26-24, 27-25 (Lincoln, Neb.)
Pepperdine is 22-6 overall and won the West Coast Conference with a 15-1 record. The Bears have played one WCC team this season, losing at second-place San Diego in the second weekend of the season. The No. 15 overall seed Waves boast the WCC Coach, Player and Freshman of the Year along with four first-team all-conference picks and hit .251 as a team with averages of 14.34 kills, 1.31 aces, 15.85 digs and 2.62 blocks per set. Pepperdine is making its 21st NCAA appearance with a 14-20 overall record.
Cal is 26-6 overall and finished 16-6 in Pac-12 play. The Golden Bears were ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Poll for several weeks and were rated third as recently as two weeks ago. As a team, Cal hits .265 and averages 14.09 kills, 1.02 aces, 16.52 digs and 2.77 blocks per set. Cal is making its 15th NCAA appearance with a 25-14 all-time record, and lost to Penn State in the national championship match in 2010.
North Carolina is 23-8 and placed third in the ACC with a 15-5 league record. The Tar Heels are making their 13th NCAA appearance with a 7-12 record. UNC is making its third NCAA trip in the last four seasons and hits .250 as a team with averages of 14.90 kills, 1.05 aces, 16.24 digs and 2.35 blocks per set.
Missouri State is 0-3 against Pepperdine, though the teams haven’t met since 1995. Prior to that, the Waves earned victories in the 1977 and 1978 AIAW national tournaments.
The Bears are 3-1 all-time against North Carolina, including a 3-1 victory in Springfield last season. Missouri State lost a visit to Chapel Hill in 2008 and won in 1992 and 1975.
MSU has faced Cal just once in program history, a 3-1 loss in 1983 at a tournament hosted by Nebraska.