Volleyball earns bid to NCAA Tournament

WSU receives No. 16 seed, will host first two rounds of tourney play



Senior defensive specialist Olivia Coale, left, and junior setter Ashley Brown, right, react to the announcement of the Cougars seeding in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night in Martin Stadium. “This is the first time since we’ve been coaching that we know we’re going to the tournament,” Head Coach Jen Greeny said before the NCAA Selection Show began on ESPNU.

JOHN SPELLMAN, Evergreen reporter

It was quite the weekend for the WSU volleyball team. The Cougars defeated then-No. 19 University of Washington on Saturday in Pullman for the first time since 2009. Following that, it was revealed Sunday that WSU will host two rounds of NCAA Tournament play.

“This is really exciting — we have worked hard and gotten a lot better,” Head Coach Jen Greeny said. “We went from going 0-18 in the then Pac-10 to now be a national seed and hosting the first two rounds … hopefully we can get a lot of students to come out and give us that home court advantage.”

The team held a viewing party open to the public where fans could see who WSU would face on its side of the bracket.

WSU was ranked No. 20 in the nation going into the final week of the regular season, but the team wanted to reach the top 16 to have the opportunity to host at least two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

With the players and fans gathered around a screen which revealed the bracket, the team let out a cheer when it was announced that the Cougars finished the season as the No. 16 national seed, giving WSU the opportunity to play the first two rounds at home in Pullman.

The Cougars will face Northern Arizona University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 7 p.m. Friday in Bohler Gym after the first-round matchup at 4 p.m. between University of Tennessee and Colorado State University.

The winners of those two games will meet in the second round at 6 p.m. Saturday.