The University of Oklahoma volleyball team faces in-state rival Tulsa in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. The two teams face off Friday, December 2 at 7 p.m. CT at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. No. 7 national seed Southern California is the host and faces Yale in the other opening round match at 9 p.m. CT. The winners of Friday’s matches play the second-round match on Saturday, December 3 at 9 p.m. Saturday’s winner advances to the Honolulu Regional. A free webcast of all matches will be available at USCTrojans.com.
“We’re very excited about the draw, and very excited we’re going to USC,” said Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo. “Tulsa has been a team that over the last three years has made a big push in the NCAA Tournament. They’re going to be a very tough opponent.”
Oklahoma finished the regular season with a 21-11 mark and 8-8 record in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners eclipsed the 20-win mark for the 15th time in program history and fourth under Restrepo.
The Sooners and Tulsa met in last season’s sub-regional final in Norman. OU bested the Golden Hurricane in five sets to advance to the third round before falling to eventual national champion Penn State. The Sooners lead the all-time series with Tulsa, 33-1 with TU’s only series win coming on Sept. 14, 2002.
OU has faced sub-regional host USC twice in the last four years. The Sooners dropped a four-set decision in Los Angeles during a regular season tournament in 2008. Oklahoma fell to the Women of Troy 3-0 in the NCAA Championship first round in 2009 at the Galen Center.
“We’re really excited to go to Los Angeles,” said senior outside hitter Caitlin Higgins. “This is the third time in my four years here that we’re going to the tournament. I’m really excited to play Tulsa.”
Oklahoma is making its eighth appearance in the NCAA Championship, its fifth trip under Restrepo. OU went to the tournament under Restrepo in 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2006. The Sooners advanced to the third round last year and in 2006. Oklahoma previously made the field in 1997, 1988 (third round) and 1987.
Ticket information will be announced by Southern Cal at a later time.
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