INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Division I women’s volleyball committee announced the 64-team field that will compete in the 2018 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball championship. Thirty-two conferences were awarded an automatic qualification, while the remaining 32 positions were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket.
Stanford earned the top seed and will compete in the NCAA postseason for the 38th consecutive time. The Cardinal is one of only two programs to have appeared in every NCAA DI women’s volleyball tournament since its inception in 1981.
Minnesota is the second seed followed by No. 3 Illinois. BYU earned the fourth seed. The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. Per the established bracketing principles, the top 16 seeds were provided the opportunity to host. Additionally, team pairings were determined by geographic proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during the first- and second-rounds.
The Pac-12 led all conferences with eight teams selected from their league to compete in the championship tournament. The Big Ten Conference was second with seven programs advancing to the tournament. Penn State and Stanford are the only two teams that have earned berths to all 37 championship tournaments.
Six programs are making their first appearances in the tournament: Bryant, Eastern Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota, Syracuse and the Navy.
During the previous 37 years of the championship 10 schools have won a national title, seven of which earned a place in this year’s bracket.
Previous winners competing in the field are: Hawaii (1982, 1983, 1987), Nebraska (1995, 2000, 06, 15, 17), Southern California (1981, 2002, 03), Stanford (1992, 94, 96, 97, 2001, 04, 16), Penn State (1999, 2007, 08, 09, 10, 13, 14), Texas (1988, 2012) and Washington (2005).
First- and second-round matches will be played Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play Dec. 7 and 8. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites, which will be announced after play concludes, on Dec. 1. At each site, four teams will compete in single-elimination regional semifinal competition.
The regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final hosted by Minnesota on Dec. 13 and 15 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The national semifinal matches will broadcast on ESPN and the championship match will broadcast on ESPN2.