UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The six-time NCAA national champion Penn State women's volleyball team has earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions are set to host MAAC conference champion Siena (19-14) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 in Rec Hall.
Atlantic 10 champion Dayton (29-5) will take on Patriot league winner American (26-6), Friday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. in Rec Hall. The winners of each contest will square off in the second round Saturday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall.
"I think we're fortunate to have the draw we have, but I feel like we earned a draw like this because we've challenged ourselves to play good teams," senior Micha Hancock said. "We've learned to be more stable and we're building confidence, so our practices will now be focused on winning six more games one at a time."
The Nittany Lions head into postseason play after posting a 30-3 overall record during the regular season and a 17-2 mark in conference action, good for second place in the final league standings. Penn State capped off the regular season with a dominant straight set victory against No. 10 Nebraska to earn its 14th consecutive win. Having earned its last 13 straight by way of a 3-0 decision, PSU has also won its last 41 sets.
Penn State is set to make its 34th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament as one of only two programs in the country to be selected as a participant in all 34 NCAA postseason events since its inception in 1981. The 2013 NCAA defending national champions hold an 83-26 record in the tournament, having totaled 11 trips to the national semifinals ('93, '94, '97, '98, '99, '07, '08, '09, '10, '12, '13), nine appearances in the NCAA title match ('93, '97, '98, '99, '07, '08, '09, '10, '13) and six national championships ('99, '07, '08, '09, '10, `13).
All-session tickets for the 2014 NCAA tournament first and second rounds at Penn State will go on sale to the general public Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. Current Penn State women's volleyball season ticket holders and NLC members will have the option to purchase all-session tickets Monday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. All-session tickets are priced at $12 for adults and $10 for students and youth ages 12 and under. Groups of 20 or more may purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $8.
Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800 -NITTANY or by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office in the Bryce Jordan Center from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Single-match tickets will only be sold at the door the night of each match. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and youth ages 12 and under. Doors will open at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5th and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6th.
Additionally, 300 free all-session tickets will be available for Penn State students on a first come, first served basis, courtesy of the Penn State women's volleyball booster club. Free admission will be granted to the first 300 students entering the match on Friday and Saturday.
Last year in the first all-Big Ten NCAA national final in tournament history, the Nittany Lions defeated Wisconsin in four sets to claim its fifth national title in the last seven years.
In the 64-team field where only the top 16 teams are seeded, Penn State is joined by Big Ten opponents No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 9 Illinois, No. 14 Nebraska and at-large selections Michigan State and Ohio State.
Including this year, the Nittany Lions have had the opportunity to host the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament 27 times since 1981 and will welcome a pair of first and second round teams to the court in Rec Hall for the 25th consecutive year. PSU is 28-5 all-time in opening matches of the NCAA tournament, having silenced LIU Brooklyn in its most recent first-round outing in 2013. Penn State has not lost a first round contest since 1989, when the Nittany Lions fell to Illinois in straight sets. Since the loss, the Nittany Lions have not surrendered a single set to a first round opponent, having posted sweeps in its last 24 consecutive first-round victories.
The winner of the Penn State first and second round NCAA site will advance to the Louisville regional December 12-13 at the KFC Yum! Center. The Penn State site winner will take on the site winner from UCLA, which features the No. 12 Bruins, LIU Brooklyn, San Diego and Long Beach State. The other regional semifinal matches will feature the winner of the Lexington, Ky. site (No. 13 Kentucky, Oakland, Lipscomb, Ohio State) and the winner of the Wisconsin site (No. 4 Wisconsin, Western Michigan, Illinois State, Marquette).
The winners from each of the four regional sites (Louisville, Ky., Ames, Iowa, Minneapolis, Minn., and Seattle, Wash.) advance to the NCAA semifinals, which will be held Thursday, Dec. 18 in Oklahoma City, Okla. at Chesapeake Energy Arena.