BYU-Hawaii bound for Pensacola after capturing NCAA II West Region title on Dec. 1

BYU-Hawaii Volleyball Courtesy of BYU-Hawaii Sports Information

LAIE, Hawai'i - The Brigham Young University Hawaii women's volleyball team, winners of the NCAA II West Region Tournament, will meet South Central Region champion West Texas A&M on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 2:30 pm CST in Pensacola, Fla., in the national quarterfinals.

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The Lady Buffs - 33-4 and ranked ninth in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Division II Coaches Poll - were the second seed in the region and defeated fourth-seed Angelo State to earn their trip to Pensacola.

Ironically, the last time BYU-Hawaii made the Elite Eight, the tournament was played on the campus of West Texas A&M's in Canyon, Tex., where the Seasiders advanced to the national championship match with wins over New Haven and Tampa. Both the Chargers and the Spartans are in this year's tournament.

The Seasiders then swept Truman State to claim the 2002 national title.

BYU-Hawaii, tied for fifth in the AVCA Poll and 24-3 on the season, is one of six top seeds to come out of the eight regional tournaments.

Wingate (N.C.) - the second-seed in the Southeast Region - joins West Texas A&M as the other lower seed to advance.

The Bulldogs, who are 32-2 and aer receiving 11 votes (34th) in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll, will face top-ranked, five-time-defending-champion Concordia-St. Paul (30-4) on the other side of BYU-Hawaii's bracket at Noon CST on Dec. 6.

The winner of that match will face the winner of the BYU-Hawaii-vs.-West Texas A&M contest on Friday at 5 pm CST.

The other bracket features Midwest Region winner Indianapolis (30-7), ranked 19th in the nationa, against East Region Champion New Haven on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. CST.

New Haven is unranked despite a glossy 30-1 record.

In the other half of the bracket, Atlantic Region winner Wheeling Jesuit (38-2), ranked 18th, will meet South Region winner Tampa (30-3), which is ranked seventh in the AVCA Poll, at 7:30 pm CST.

The winners of those two matches will meet on Friday at 7:30 pm in the second semifinal.

The two semifinal winners will meet for the NCAA II National Championship on Saturday at 7 p.m.

All of the matches at the Elite Eight will be played on the campus of the University of West Florida in the 4,500-seat UWF Fieldhouse.

BYU-Hawaii only has faced one of the teams in the Elite Eight this season, losing a close match to Concordia-St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 31 in a misleading 3-0 sweep.

The Seasiders forced overtime in the first two sets and succumbed 27-25, 26-24, 25-21.