INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball committee announced the 64-team field that will compete in the 2021 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.
Louisville earned the top seed and will compete in the NCAA postseason after recording an undefeated regular season for the first time in program history and finishing with an overall record of 28-0. The Cardinals have held the top spot in the RPI since November 14.
Texas is the second seed, followed by No. 3 Pittsburgh and No. 4 Wisconsin. The top 16 teams are 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 Big Ten led all conferences with eight teams selected from the league to compete in the championship tournament. The Big-12 was second with seven programs advancing to the post season, followed by the ACC, The Pac-12, and Southeastern Conference who finished with six advancing programs.
Campbell, The Citadel, Ill.-Chicago, Mississippi St., South Alabama, and West Virginia are all making their first appearance in the tournament, while Brown has had the longest hiatus, with their last appearances coming in 1998. Penn State remains the only team that has earned a berth to all 41 championship tournaments.
During the previous 40 years of the championships 11 schools have won a national title, eight of which earned a place in this year’s bracket. Previous winners competing in the field are: Hawaii (1982, 1983, 1987), Kentucky (2020), Nebraska (1995, 2000, 06, 15, 17), USC (1981, 2002, 03), Stanford (1992, 94, 96, 97, 2001, 04, 16, 18, 19), Penn State (1999, 2007, 08, 09, 10, 13, 14), Texas (1988, 2012) and Washington (2005).
First- and second-round matches will be played December 2-4 at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will continue to regional play December 9 and 11. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites, which will be announced on December 5. 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 Ohio State University in conjunction with the Columbus Sports Commission December 16-18 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The national semifinal matches will broadcast on ESPN, and the championship match will broadcast on ESPN2.
All preliminary site match times can be found on the attached championship bracket or online at www.ncaa.com/volleyball.