Dec. 4, 2012
SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- Six teams were selected to represent the West Coast Conference in postseason action. BYU and Saint Mary's advanced to the second round before the Gaels were defeated by No. 6 seed USC. The Cougars, however, swept both opponents to continue on their trek to the NCAA Championship, making 2012 the team's most successful season since 1998.
For the full composite schedule, including postseason play, and more information about WCC women's volleyball, please visit one of the above links.
No. 12 seed BYU, the West Coast Conference's automatic qualifier and co-champion of the conference, swept New Mexico State and Oklahoma in the first and second rounds of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Cougars will now take on No. 5 seed Oregon (27-4) in the Regionals in Omaha, Neb. on Friday.
The last time a WCC team reached the Elite Eight was last season when Pepperdine won three straight matches in sweeps to eventually lose to USC in a close five-set match. Previous to that, unseeded Santa Clara upset Stanford, Pepperdine, and Arizona on its way to the Final Four in 2005 before losing to eventual runner-up Nebraska.
Six teams were selected to represent the WCC in the 2012 NCAA Tournament---WCC co-champion BYU, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's, WCC co-champion San Diego, and Santa Clara, tying the Conference's previous record set back in 2003.
Four WCC student-athletes received AVCA All-Pacific Region honors in BYU's Jennifer Hamson and Nicole Warner and Pepperdine's Jazmine Orozco and Kellie Woolever. BYU's Alexa Gray and Heather Hannemann and San Diego's Katie Hoekman were named AVCA All-Pacific Region Honorable Mention.
BYU garnered three postseason awards outright in just its second year competing in the WCC. BYU's opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson earned WCC Player of the Year honors, while outside hitter/middle blocker Alexa Gray was named WCC Freshman of the Year. The conference head coaches also selected BYU's Shawn Olmstead as the WCC Coach of the Year.
The 2012 Defensive Player of the Year award was split three ways in BYU's middle blocker Nicole Warner, Loyola Marymount's defensive specialist Betsi Metter, and San Francisco's outside hitter/libero Rebecca Kopilovitch.
The Cougars received the league's AQ by virtue of the conference's tiebreaker process, which was the number of sets won in the BYU-San Diego series.
BYU and San Diego finished ranked No. 16 and No. 19, respectively in the AVCA Coaches Poll. Pepperdine and Saint Mary's were receiving votes. The next poll will be released on December 18.
Six WCC teams finished the regular season ranked in the top 50 in the latest NCAA Division I women's volleyball RPI report.
Saint Mary's advanced to the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 6 seed Southern California on the Trojans' home court, 3-0. The Gaels ended their season with an 18-11 overall record and 12-4 in the WCC, good for third place in the conference standings.