The Valparaiso University volleyball team will open the 2005 NCAA Tournament in the same spot they ended their 2004 season, Madison, Wis., this year taking on California, Friday, December 2 at 5:00 p.m.
The Crusaders earned a third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament by defeating Oral Roberts in the Mid-Continent Conference Championship Match last Sunday at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo fell to Nebraska 3-0 in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament, and lost last year 3-1 to Notre Dame in the first round in Madison.
The Golden Bears (18-10, 10-8 Pac-10) earned an at-large berth into this year's field after finishing sixth in their conference. California and Valpo have never met, and the Crusaders had not played a Pac-10 team in the program's history before falling to UCLA 3-2 earlier this year in a tournament in Madison, Wis.
The winner of Friday's match will advance to the second round to take on the winner of 11th-seeded Wisconsin and Loyola (Ill.). The Crusaders defeated Loyola 3-1 earlier this year, but fell at Wisconsin 3-0.