SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team is headed to Las Vegas, Nev. next weekend to compete in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, it was announced on Sunday.
The Gauchos (17-11, 9-7) drew Fresno State (21-10, 13-5) for their first round match, which is set for a 4:30 p.m. start on Thursday, Nov. 29 at UNLV's Cox Pavilion. Santa Barbara owns a commanding 24-5 edge in the all-time series with the Bulldogs, most recently defeating them in their last meeting in September of 2014.
The news comes eight days after UCSB's 3-0 regular season finale win over UC Davis, its third straight to end conference play. It will be the Gauchos' first postseason competition since 2013, when they finished in a three-way tie for the Big West crown in head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch's first year with the team.
Santa Barbara is one of two Big West program's heading to the NIVC, which also includes UC Irvine in a pool of 32 teams. The Gauchos will be joined by the Anteaters at UNLV's Cox Pavilion. The two sides could face each other for a third time this year in a 7:00 p.m. matchup on Friday, given they win their opening round contests.
The NIVC is an annual tournament involving 32 to 40 of the nation's top women's Division I Volleyball teams. It was revived last year after previously seeing a six-year run from 1989-1995. All games, including the semifinals and championship, are hosted by participating schools. Every round is single elimination.
To view the tournament bracket, please click here.