Dec. 7, 2016
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Following a sweep of American in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and a 3-1 victory over Oregon in the second round, the University of Michigan volleyball team will face off against Creighton this weekend in the Sweet 16 in the hopes of continuing the Wolverines' NCAA run. The regional match is to be played at No. 4-seeded Texas, and the winner will advance to the Elite 8 and play the winner of Texas and BYU. First serve for Michigan's match on Friday (Dec. 9) is slated for 5:30 p.m. CST.
Though Michigan will not host any more matches this season, the No. 12 seed going into the NCAA Tournament is Michigan's highest seed in program history. Prior to this season, the Wolverines had not hosted an NCAA first round since 2009, when they were the No. 13 seed.
#21 Creighton (28-6)
2015 Record: 27-9
Following a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2015, Creighton will make another Sweet 16 appearance in 2016 after upsetting No. 5-host Kansas in the second round of the tournament. The Bluejays finished first in the Big East Conference with a perfect conference record and a Big East Tournament title. Of nine total losses, five have come against top-25 opponents.
HOW SWEET IT IS
With the sweep of American in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and a 3-1 win over Oregon in the second round, the Wolverines will advance to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. The Maize and Blue capped off the 2012 season with their first-ever Final Four appearance.
LAST TIME OUT
Trailing 1-0 after the first set with the season on the line, the No. 12-seeded University of Michigan volleyball team came from behind to pull off a gritty 3-1 win over Oregon (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17) on Friday evening (Dec. 2) inside Crisler Center. With the victory, Michigan advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2012 and the fifth time in program history.
WHEN AT HOME
Following a 3-0 sweep of Michigan State on Nov. 23, the highly ranked Wolverines finished the regular season with a 15-2 record when playing at home inside Cliff Keen Arena, with their only home losses coming against No. 1 Nebraska and then-No. 1 Wisconsin. Michigan held opponents to just a .197 hitting percentage when playing inside Cliff Keen Arena, winning 44 sets and dropping just 14. Of Michigan's 15 victories inside Keen, six were sweeps and three came over AVCA Top 25 opponents. Because Michigan played its NCAA matches in Crisler Center, however, the Wolverines finished their home portion of the season with a 17-2 overall record.
THE BIG TEN AND THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Eight Big Ten teams were selected to the 2016 NCAA Tournament field of 64, it was announced during the Selection Show, with six of eight teams earning a top-16 host seed. Nebraska (1), Minnesota (2) and Wisconsin (3) earned top-three seeds and have the potential to play on their home courts until the Final Four, while Michigan State (9), Michigan (12) and Penn State (16) also earned the chance to host the first and second rounds as a top seed. Ohio State and Purdue also earned selections to the NCAA Tournament, though Michigan is the only Big Ten team in the Texas quadrant of the bracket. With Purdue and Michigan State dropping their second-rounds matches, just six teams in the Big Ten remain in the race for the 2016 title -- the most of any other conference.
WELSH, COLE, AND MURPHY EARN ALL-BIG TEN HONORS
University of Michigan volleyball senior Abby Cole was selected to the 2016 All-Big Ten Conference First Team, and freshman MacKenzi Welsh received a selection to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team as well as an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Michigan senior Kelly Murphy also earned postseason accolades as Michigan's Sportsmanship Award winner.
A victory over Northwestern on Nov. 5 allowed Michigan to reach the 20-win mark with six matches to go in the 2016 regular season, matching their nine-win conference record from last year. With additional victories over Indiana (Nov. 9) and Michigan State (Nov. 23) and NCAA Tournament victories over American (Dec. 1) and No. 19 Oregon (Dec. 2), Michigan has now reached 24 wins for the first time since the 2012 campaign, when the Wolverines made their first-ever Final Four appearance.
Communications contact: Katie Gwinn Hewitt