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Saint Mary's To Open NCAA Tournament Play vs. UC Santa Barbara

Nov. 30, 2009

MORAGA, Calif. - For the second-straight year, and third time under head coach Rob Browning, the No. 21 Saint Mary's women's volleyball team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Having won the West Coast Conference's automatic bid, today's announcement wasn't a matter of if the Gaels were in, but rather against whom and where will they be playing. Saint Mary's will travel to Palo Alto, CA, facing UC Santa Barbara in the first round on Friday, December 4 at 5:00 PM at Maples Pavilion.

"I think our seed is good, and the paring that we got is good," said coach Browning. "Santa Barbara is a good team for sure, and if we were to get past Santa Barbara we are looking at possibly facing Stanford in the second round. We are happy with our seeding; we talked about what our reaction was going to be, and what our expectations were. We decided we didn't have any expectations, that there was no use to have any expectations, because we had no idea really what was going to happen, where we were going to go and who we were going to play. Santa Barbara is a good team; I think it's a good match-up for us, for both of us. We are looking forward to it."

SMC, which is the only WCC representative in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, clinched its entrance to the tournament on November 14, when the Gaels defeated San Diego for the program's first ever conference championship. UC Santa Barbara has an overall record of 22-7 and received an at-large bid after finishing second in the Big West Conference. Currently the Gauchos are receiving nine votes in the AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll.

The winners of the Saint Mary's-UCSB match will meet the winners of the Stanford-Long Island match on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.

Tickets for this weekend's NCAA Tournament action at Stanford are available through the Stanford ticket office. Fans can call the ticket office at 1-800-STANFORD for more information.

(Story courtesy of Saint Mary's Sports Information)