Redhawks Headed to #9 Kentucky Friday for First Round of 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship

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Southeast Missouri women’s volleyball (23-10) will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to face #9 Kentucky (23-6) of the Southeastern Conference Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the First Round of the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Southeast will take on the Wildcats in the second of two matches Friday evening. Northern Kentucky (19-12) and Michigan (20-10) will compete in the first match Friday at 4 p.m. Both of Friday’s winners will advance to the second round on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Redhawks were an automatic qualifier after they won the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship in Jacksonville, Alabama, on Nov. 23.

SEMO makes its sixth Championship appearance all-time and will compete in the postseason for the first time since 2000 Friday.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball committee announced the 64-team field Sunday that will compete in the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. Thirty-two conferences were awarded an automatic qualification, while the remaining 32 positions were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket.

Baylor earned the top seed and will compete in the NCAA postseason after rounding out the regular season with a 25-1 overall record and a program best 15-1 finish in conference play. The Bears held the top spot in the RPI since the first release on Oct. 7 and became the fifth team in conference history to earn a Big 12 conference title.

Texas is the second seed, followed by No. 3 Stanford and Wisconsin earned the fourth seed. The top 16 teams are seeded nationally and placed within four regions. Per the established bracketing principles, the top 16 seeds were provided the opportunity to host. Additionally, team pairings were determined by geographic proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during the first and second rounds.

The Big Ten led all conferences with seven teams selected from the league to compete in the championship tournament. The Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference were second with six programs each advancing to the post season.

Northern Kentucky and Wright State are making their first appearance in the tournament, while Winthrop and St. John’s have had the longest hiatus, with their last appearances coming in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Penn State and Stanford are the only two teams that have earned berths to all 39 championship tournaments.

During the previous 39 years of the championship 10 schools have won a national title, seven of which earned a place in this year’s bracket. Previous winners competing in the field are: Hawaii (1982, 1983, 1987), Nebraska (1995, 2000, 06, 15, 17), USC (1981, 2002, 03), Stanford (1992, 94, 96, 97, 2001, 04, 16, 18), Penn State (1999, 2007, 08, 09, 10, 13, 14), Texas (1988, 2012) and Washington (2005).

First and second-round matches will be played December 5-7 at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will continue to regional play December 13-14. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites, which will be announced on December 8. At each site, four teams will compete in single- elimination regional semifinal competition.

The regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final hosted by Dusquene, SPORTSPittsburgh on December 19-21 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The national semifinal matches will broadcast on ESPN, and the championship match will broadcast on ESPN2.

All regional and championship site match times can be found on the attached championship bracket or online at www.ncaa.com/volleyball.

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