Saint Louis University volleyball received its first berth to the NCAA Tournament in school history. SLU earned an automatic bid by winning the Atlantic-10 Tournament behind tournament MVP freshman Whitney Roth. Fellow freshman Whitney Behrens and senior Tatyana Menshikova were named to the All-Tournament team.
The Billikens travel to 14th-seeded Purdue for the first-round tonight. The winner will play the winner of the Kentucky-Ohio match.
“I’m very, very excited about going to Purdue. It’s a great place to play, they got big crowds, and they’re a huge physical team. It’ll be a challenge for us and that’s when we’re our best,” said head coach Anne Kordes.
Purdue finished the regular season 21-10, 11-9 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are ranked 22nd in the nation, but is going into the NCAA’s losers in six of its last eight matches. This is the third straight appearance for Purdue. They made it all the way to the Sweet 16 last year.
The Tigers (17-12) are hoping this year’s first round is as good as the last two. Mizzou has won consecutive opening round matches. It’s their seventh straight appearance overall, only Nebraska in the Big 12 has been more times in a row. Last year, Missouri made it to the Elite Eight before bowing out. This year’s first round opponent is Santa Clara (20-7). The Broncos beat Mizzou in four games earlier this year. The game is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CST).
The Bears open first round play Friday against Arkansas. MSU (26-8) earned an at-large bid after losing in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Arkansas and Missouri State have met at least once in the last five years, with Arkansas winning three times. In 2003, Arkansas eliminated the Bears in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.