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NCAA Volleyball Tournament- A Deeper Dive into the Selections

Lauren Penington

Nebraska earns a #2 seed, in the lower right hand corner of the bracket, and the #5 overall seed for the tournament. Louisville is the #1 seed in that corner and the #4 seed overall. Nebraska hosts the 1st and 2nd round in Lincoln and if they win both of those matches they will likely travel to Louisville, KY for the regionals. Louisville has to beat Samford and the winner of the Purdue vs Tennessee match in the Round of 32.

Nebraska plays the Delaware State Hornets on Thursday, December 1st at 7 pm. This match follows the match between Miami and Kansas which starts at 4:30 pm CST in the Bob Devaney Center. The Hornets are the automatic bid from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. They beat Coppin State University in the MEAC Championship.

A little bit about the Husker’s opponent: Delaware State University is located in Dover, DE. It is a land grant research university founded in 1891, with an enrollment of approximately 6,200 students.

Also in the lower right corner in the #3 seed is Oregon and the #4 seed is Baylor.

The NCAA volleyball selection committee selection committee meets every 5-6 weeks through the regular season and then more often as the tournament grows nearer.

Terry Pettit interviewed the chair of the selection committee on November 11th. Pauline Thiros, committee chair and director of athletics at Idaho State University, shares information about the process.

There are five regions for college volleyball as far as the selection committee is concerned. There are two representatives per region that produce a top 10 for their region and also give feedback about specific strengths in their region.

There is emphasis on the last 10 matches of the season, where homestretch last 10 matches are given more emphasis than other 18 or 19 matches of the season.

This year, for the first time, the committee ranked teams 1-32. Previously, only 16 teams were ranked. There are four number 1 seeds spread across the four quadrants. There are four number eight seeds and they are ranked 1-4 within those two seeds but will also be placed in the bracket based on regional location.

A #8 seed that can drive to the #1 seed location will be placed in that bracket rather than another even if their seed warrants another location. 400 miles is the driving metric the committee uses.

Nebraska won’t have to drive or fly for the opening 2 rounds. They will practice at home this week and play host this weekend. Check back here for watch information as the match date gets closer.