MALIBU, Calif. – The NCAA Tournament bracket is set, as released by the NCAA Women’s Beach Volleyball Committee in this Sunday night’s Selection Show, and the second-ranked Pepperdine beach volleyball squad was tabbed the No. 3 seed for the upcoming trip to Gulf Shores, Ala. The Waves will be challenged by sixth-seeded Arizona State on May 6 to open the tournament.
In the inaugural NCAA Tournament set to take place at Gulf Shores Public Beach from May 6-8 and will be hosted by University of Alabama at Birmingham and Orange Beach Sports Commission. The tournament will be televised by Turner networks. Live coverage for the opening rounds on May 6 and 7 will air from 12-3 p.m. (PT) on truTV and the Championship round on May 8 will air at 11 a.m. (PT) on TBS.
The Waves (19-3) will first go up against sixth-seeded Arizona on May 6 at 10 a.m. (PT). Pepperdine battled Arizona, a team currently ranked sixth in the AVCA Coaches Poll, in the beginning of April on day two of the Zuma Classic, besting the Wildcats with a 3-2 decision.
Florida State (29-1) earned the top seed, a team currently ranked third in the AVCA Coaches Poll, and will go up against eight-seeded and ninth-ranked Stetson (26-7). Top-ranked USC (30-2) were marked the No. 2 seed and will open the tournament against seventh-seeded and eighth-ranked Georgia State (25-8). Closing out the tournament at the fourth and fifth seeds are fourth-ranked UCLA (19-6) and fifth-ranked Hawai’i (16-8).
The Waves have played five of the other seven teams, charting wins over all of them at least once. Pepperdine swept Georgia State in March at the College of Charleston Beach Invitational and took down Hawai’i 4-1 at the Pepperdine Kick-Off in March. The Waves have gone up against UCLA twice, defeating the team 5-0 in the Pepperdine Kick-Off and dropping the first loss of the season to the Bruins on the road at the end of March. The Waves also faced USC three times this season, winning the first contest in the Pepperdine Kick-Off with a 3-2 win and dropping the final two matches to the women of Troy 2-3 and 1-4.
The double-elimination tournament will have an eight-team field and is the NCAA’s 90th and newest National Championship. The field was selected from the 60 NCAA institutions sponsoring the sport with three teams selected from the east region and three teams selected from the west region. The following two teams were selected at-large before all eight teams were seeded.
Pepperdine went 19-3 overall this season and most recently won the first-ever West Coast Conference Championship title. Head Coach Nina Matthies garnered WCC Coach of the Year and six Waves earned All-WCC recognition.
For all championship site match times and more information about the championship, go to NCAA.com/BeachVolleyball.