The University of Arizona is going to have a busy weekend ahead. Not only will football play in the Pac-12 Championship Game Friday night, followed with men's basketball hosting No. 9/8 Gonzaga on Saturday, but Volleyball has been selected as a host team for the NCAA Tournament Thursday and Friday.
Arizona Volleyball is one of ten Pac-12 teams that is included in the 64-team field, by far the most of any conference. The Big Ten is second on the list with six teams.
The 11th seeded Wildcats will open NCAA play Thursday night at 6:30 PM MST against Yale. The winner will face the winner of Seton Hall and BYU Friday night at 5:30 PM MST in McKale Center.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne talked a little bit on Sunday at the Pac-12 Football Championship Game press conference about what having the entire athletics department in the national spotlight does for all the teams, not just football and men's basketball.
"We tell our coaches all the time, if we're going to keep score, we may as well try to win," Byrne said. "And I think success is contagious. So to see this kind of success that's taking place in football and men's basketball, but across the board. Look at what our track program has done. Look at what Tony Amato's doing in soccer. That's going to breed other success within our program and to continue to put our university and our athletics department on a great stage that top student-athletes across the country are going to say 'I want to be a part of that' and within our state."
This will be the first time since 2002 that Arizona has hosted the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Wildcats are 9-0 in NCAA Tournament games played in Tucson.
"Dave Rubio's done an incredible job," Byrne continued. "We've got great senior leadership on the team, but on top of that, you're seeing the younger kids develop and get better as well. Obviously we want everybody to be in Santa Clara Friday night, but if you're not in Santa Clara, make sure you're at the volleyball game."
"An incredible run, and we'll see if we can make something special out of our volleyball team this year too."
If you've got nothing to do Thursday night, check out some NCAA Volleyball action. You can get tickets here.