Wildcat volleyball to face Southern Cal in NCAA Tournament

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire women's volleyball team will face defending champion and No. 1 seed University of Southern California in a first-round match of the Lincoln, Nebraska Regional in the NCAA Tournament Friday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. PST at the Lyon Center in Los Angeles. The announcement was made Sunday night by the NCAA volleyball selection committee on ESPNEWS.

The winner of the UNH vs. USC match will play the victor of the Cal State-Northridge (16-12) vs. Loyola Marymount (25-6) match on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. PST.

Southern Cal earned an automatic berth as the Pac-10 conference champion and is 29-0 overall this season. The Trojans, who recorded 24 of their 29 victories in straight games, has won 40 consecutive matches dating back to the 2002 season. USC is making its 21st appearance in the NCAA's and has compiled a 39-18 record.

The UNH volleyball team earned one of 31 automatic NCAA Tournament berths by winning its third America East tournament title in school history on Saturday, Nov. 22 with a 3-1 win over Northeastern University in the America East Championship match in Durham, N.H.

The Wildcats enter the tournament on a seven-match win streak and have won 12 of their last 13 matches heading into the NCAA's.

UNH currently owns a 23-11 record on the year and will face USC for the first time in school history. The 'Cats have a 0-2 lifetime record against Pac-10 teams with losses to California and Oregon. This is the second trip to the state of California this season for UNH, which was defeated 3-0 by Cal earlier this season (Sept. 11) in the Golden Bears' tournament.

The Wildcats' previous two NCAA appearances were Dec. 3, 1998 in a 3-0 loss to host University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. and Dec. 5, 2002 in a 3-1 loss to host Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn.

New Hampshire is led by seniors Alyson Coler (Monte Sereno, Calif.), the two-time America East Player of the Year, and Sasha Scott (North Branford, Conn.), the two-time America East Defensive Specialist of the Year. UNH head coach Jill Hirschinger received the America East Coach of the Year award for the second consecutive season and fourth time overall.

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