COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M received an at-large berth to the 64-team 2016 NCAA Volleyball Championship and will face SMU in the first round, Friday at Gregory Gym in Austin, the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee announced today.
The first-ever matchup between the in-state teams begins at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a first-round match between No. 4 seed Texas and Texas-Rio Grande Valley at 6:30 p.m. The two winners will meet in the second round, Saturday at 7 p.m. at Gregory Gym.
The tournament’s second-round winners will advance to one of four non-predetermined regional sites, which be announced after play concludes on December 3.The regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final co-hosted by the Ohio State University and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on December 15 and 17.
Texas A&M (21-8 15-3 SEC), which closed out the regular season by winning 10 of its last 11 matches and finishing in a tie for third place in the Southeastern Conference, is making its sixth consecutive and 24th overall appearance in the NCAA tournament. This marks the Aggies’ 20th appearance under 24th-year head coach Laurie Corbelli.
SMU (25-7) is making its second consecutive and second overall appearance in the tournament. The Mustangs, who fell to Purdue in the first round in Austin last year, received an automatic bid by winning the American Athletic Conference championship with an 18-2 record.
Texas (22-4) received an at-large bid after finishing second in the Big 12 Conference. UTRGV (21-3) received an automatic berth and is making its first NCAA Championship appearance after winning the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
Texas A&M NCAA Tournament Notes: A&M is making its sixth consecutive and 24th overall appearance (1981-82, 1985-86, 1993-2005, 2009, 2011-16) since the inception of the tournament in 1981…This is the fourth time in five years the Aggies have been sent to Austin to open the tournament…A&M hosted firsts and second rounds last year after receiving an all-time high No. 10 seed. The Aggies defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-15) and then fell to seventh-ranked Hawaii, 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-20) at Reed Arena…A&M sports a 26-23 (.531) all-time record in the NCAA tournament, including a 24-19 (.558) mark during head coach Laurie Corbelli's A&M tenure...A&M’s best finish in an NCAA tournament was a regional final appearance in both 1999 and 2001…The SEC landed four teams in the tournament field: No. 11 seed Florida and No. 15 seed Missouri, who tied for the conference championship, as well as Kentucky and Texas A&M…The Aggies are 2-7 this year against teams in the NCAA tournament field, including 1-4 against seeded teams.
NCAA Tournament Notes: Thirty-two conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 32 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket...The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. Nebraska, the defending national champion, earned the top seed followed by No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 4 Texas.
For complete tournament bracket and information, visit the NCAA official Website at www.NCAAsports.com.
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.