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Cats Volleyball book tourney bid

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Twitter: @Cooney247

TUCSON, Ariz. – Head coach Dave Rubio and the Arizona Volleyball team earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time since 1981, the NCAA announced on Sunday. The Wildcats will travel to San Diego, Calif. to take on New Mexico State (22-10) on Friday, Dec. 6 at 6:00 p.m. MST.

The University of San Diego, seeded ninth nationally, will host the first and second round matches on campus at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Toreros will host UC Santa Barbara in the other first round match at the site. If the Wildcats advance past the first and second rounds, they will travel to Lincoln, Neb. for the Sweet 16.

The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee selected 64 teams for the 2013 field. 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. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were No. 1 University of Texas; No. 2 Penn State; No. 3 Washington; and No. 4 Missouri.

The Pac-12 led all conferences with nine teams in this year's field. In the 32-year history of the championship, 10 schools have been crowned champion, seven of which are in this year's bracket, including defending champion, Texas.

First- and second-round matches will be played at 16 campus sites.  Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play December 13 and 14. The pre-determined regional sites are Lexington, Kentucky; Los Angeles, California; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Champaign, Illinois. All regional semifinal games will be shown on ESPN3. Regional final games will air on ESPNU.

The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by Washington and at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington, on December 19 and 21. Both national semifinal games as well as the championship game will be broadcast by ESPN2. All regional and championship site game times can be found on the attached championship bracket or online at www.ncaa.com/wvb.

The Wildcats, a young team that includes just two seniors, have had a successful season, going 20-12 overall and 10-10 in conference play. Arizona has proven to be one of the top defensive teams in the Pac-12 as it finished the season ranked first in the league in digs and second in opponent hitting percentage.

Meanwhile, New Mexico State finished the regular season with a 22-10 record and the Aggies earned the automatic bid by winning the WAC Tournament title.

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