Sunday December 6, 2009NCAA Gainesville Volleyball Regional Set
Four teams will make their way to Gainesville Dec. 11-12 to vie for a berth in the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Final Four. Baylor, Cal, Florida and Penn State will comprise the 2009 NCAA Gainesville Regional at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
No. 10 Cal will square off with Baylor at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday to kick off the event, while No. 1 Penn State will face host and 14th-ranked Florida at 6 p.m. ET Friday in the second regional semifinal. The NCAA Regional Final will take place Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
NCAA Gainesville Regional tickets are now on sale. Reserved first-level all-session passes are $15. General admission all-session passes for the upper level of the O’Connell Center are available for $12 for adults and $8 for youth and senior citizens. Fans can purchase tickets by phone at (800) 34-GATOR, ext. 6800 or online at GatorZone.com/tickets. Only all-session passes will be available at that time. Single-session tickets will be available only on the day of the event.
Baylor, in the midst of its first 20-win season since the 1999 campaign, enters the regional with a 24-9 record and has knocked off four ranked teams this season. The Bears finished the 2009 campaign tied for fourth in the Big XII Conference with an 11-9 league tally. Baylor defeated Georgia Tech (W, 3-0) in the first round before toppling No. 9 UCLA (W, 3-1) in the second round at Los Angeles. The Bears are making their first NCAA appearance since 2001.
Cal, ranked 10th in the latest AVCA poll and seeded ninth in the NCAA Tournament, enters the regional with a 20-10 overall record, finishing fourth in the tough Pacific-10 Conference with an 11-7 tally. The Bears have advanced to the regional semifinals for four consecutive seasons, including an NCAA Final Four appearance two years ago, which marked the best finish in program history. Cal defeated Lipscomb (W, 3-0) and host Ohio State (W, 3-1) in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Columbus, Ohio.
Host Florida, ranked 14th in the latest AVCA poll and seeded 16th overall, enters the regional with a 25-5 overall record, having finished tied for third in the Southeastern Conference with a 16-4 tally. The Gators defeated the College of Charleston (W, 3-0) and FIU (W, 3-0) in the opening two rounds of the tournament at Gainesville, Fla., to advance to their 18th NCAA regional semifinal in the last 19 years.
Penn State, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team for the entire season and the back-to-back defending NCAA Champion, enters the regional with a 34-0 record, including a perfect 20-0 Big Ten mark. The Nittany Lions this weekend extended their NCAA-record winning streak to 98 consecutive matches. Penn State defeated Binghamton (W, 3-0) and Penn (W, 3-0) in its opening two NCAA matches at State College, Pa.
The 2009 season will mark the third time in four years that Florida will play host to NCAA regional action, as the Gators hosted regional events in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, UF became the first school to be awarded a regional in back-to-back years since the formation of pre-determined sites prior to the 2003 campaign.
In 2009, Florida will become the first team to be selected to host an NCAA regional four times since the pre-determined format began. Other host sites in 2009 include Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn., Qwest Center at Omaha, Neb., and Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif.
The event will mark the 10th time in school history that Florida will host an NCAA volleyball regional (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007).
The 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championships take place Dec. 17-19 in the St. Pete Times Forum at Tampa, Fla.
For all of the latest information on the 2009 NCAA Gainesville Regional, log on to www.GatorZone.com/volleyball.
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