Volleyball awarded NCAA Regional

INDIANAPOLIS – For the second-straight season and the ninth time in school history, the University of Florida will serve as one of four host sites for regional competition of the 2007 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships as announced Wednesday by the Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee.

UF, which will host the event at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, joins Penn State, Stanford and Wisconsin as hosts of regionals in 2007. The competition will be held Dec. 7-8.

“The fact that the NCAA Volleyball Committee would even consider our 2007 bid says a lot about the support we receive from our fans and the first-class job the UAA staff provides in putting on championships,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “It’s an honor for all of us and, although like last year, there’s no guarantee which four teams will play here, we’re going to reach out to this volleyball community again and ask for their support.”

In being awarded a regional in 2007, Florida will become the first school in the nation to host regional action on three occasions since the NCAA went to pre-determined sites beginning with the 2003 season. Florida also becomes the first school to be awarded a regional in back-to-back seasons since the formation of pre-determined sites.

“We are excited to showcase our regional competition at these four outstanding sites,” said Kelly Andrews, chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Toledo. “The volleyball committee felt this year’s selections were capable of enhancing the student-athlete experience through the excitement and enthusiasm of their fans as well as continue to create national interest in the regional events.”

The event will mark the ninth time in school history that Florida will host an NCAA volleyball regional (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006). The Gators reached the Final Four in five of the previous eight seasons when hosting a regional (1992, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003). Florida could also host first and second round action in the 2007 championship with those sites to be determined when the field of teams is announced.

Florida has finished in the top 10 in the nation in attendance in each of the last 16 years and during the course of the eight previous regionals, more than 40,000 fans have witnessed regional action in Gainesville.

The 2007 championship will be held in Sacramento, Calif., at ARCO Arena, Dec. 13 and 15.

For more information about the 2007 championship, visit http://www.ncaasports.com.