UCSD to Face Grand Canyon in NCAA’s

    The 64-team field is split into West, South, Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, Southcentral and Southeast. Each region is represented by eight teams. The Tritons will be making their 11th appearance in the national tournament.

    The Tritons are seeded No. 2 in the West with a 21—5 overall record, ranked behind No. 1 Cal State San Bernardino, who will host the West Regionals.
    Sonoma State receives the third seed in the West, despite beating the Tritons in regular season play. BYU-Hawaii receives the fourth seed, Seattle Pacific gets the fifth spot, Hawaii-Hilo is ranked No. 6, Grand Canyon at No. 7 and Alaska Anchorage seeded No. 8.

    Seventh-seed Grand Canyon — which will make its first tournament appearance since 1995 — would seem to be an easy target for the Tritons, but the Antelopes have had an impressive season. Grand Canyon finished the regular season with a 22—6 overall record after a stunning 14-game winning streak, good for second place in the Pacific West Conference. UCSD has fought through two nine-game winning streaks, disrupted by Sonoma and CSUSB, respectively.

    Senior outside hitters Roxanne Brunsting and Hillary Williamson will play today after garnering All-CCAA First Team honors for their standout seasons. Both Tritons finish their regular seasons with over 1,000 career kills apiece — Williamson with over 1,000 digs. Senior Katie Condon also received All-CCAA honors with a Second Team nomination. Comparatively, San Bernardino had three First Team spots and two Second Team selections.

    The ‘Lopes are no easy prey, and if the Tritons want to win, they will need to play together to hide their own weaknesses and play up their strengths. If the Tritons can secure a win in the first round, they will face Sonoma and CSUSB at some point, both of whom have beaten the Tritons in the past.

    However, UCSD did manage to beat Sonoma last year in the quarterfinals of the regional tournament, and if they can beat No. 1 nationally ranked San Bernardino, UCSD will likely be looking at a real shot at a national title this year.

    The farthest into NCAA National Tournament the women’s volleyball team has gone was the Sweet 16, round four of post-season play. This was back in 2007, when they defeated then-ranked No. 4 San Bernardino in the finals of the regional tournament to move on to the National Championship round, where the Tritons lost in the first round to (1—3) to No. 2 Minnesota Duluth.

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