INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's volleyball team will make its eighth straight appearance in the NCAA Championship, competing in regional action at the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in St. Paul beginning Thursday, NCAA officials announced today.
The Blugolds earned the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (WIAC) automatic bid to the NCAA Championship on Saturday after winning the WIAC Championship title for the first time in program history.
Eau Claire will face Wartburg College (Iowa) in the first round Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Also competing at the regional are St. Benedict (Minn.), Dominican (Ill.), Northwestern College (Minn.), UW-Stevens Point, Cornell College (Iowa) and St. Thomas (Minn.). The second round will be contested Friday and the third round will be held Saturday.
Tickets can be purchased each day and are $7 for adults and $4 for students while children under two years old will be admitted free.
The Blugolds have faced five of the seven teams this season that will be at the St. Thomas regional and hold a 3-4 record against them. The only teams the Blugolds have not faced are Dominican and Wartburg. Eau Claire last faced Wartburg on Oct. 1, 2011 and holds a 5-2 all-time record against the Knights.
Looking at the entire 64-team bracket, the Blugolds have faced eight teams that were selected this season. Outside of the St. Thomas regional, the University of Chicago, UW-Whitewater and Elmhurst College (Ill.) will play in the Elmhurst regional. Eau Claire holds a 4-7 record this season against teams selected to this year's championship.
The winner from each of the eight regionals around the country will head to Holland, Michigan for the final three rounds, which will be contested Nov. 15-17.