Tuesday November 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Ranked 15th in the nation, the surging Dayton Flyers volleyball squad will make its fourth trip to the NCAA tournament Nov. 30.

The 15th ranked University of Dayton volleyball team will make its fourth-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament in a familiar setting. UD, seeded 15 in the tourney, has been selected to host first and second round matches for the first time in school history.

"I'm ecstatic," UD Head Coach Tim Horsmon said. "The fact that we are seeded and have the opportunity to host in front of our crowd, the Red Scare and the Dayton community…is great. The fact that our kids will get to play at home is unbelievable."

2007 Atlantic 10 Champion Dayton (32-1) will take on Lipscomb (20-11), which is making its first NCAA appearance after taking home the Atlantic Sun Conference title. The Flyers and Bisons will square off at the Frericks Center at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.

The opening match of day pits at-large participants Michigan State (19-13) of the Big Ten and Kentucky (22-9) of the Southeastern Conference. The Spartans will take on the Wildcats at 5 p.m.

Saturday's second round match is scheduled for 7 p.m.

All-session tickets are $10 for adults; $6 for students and seniors; $4 for children between the ages of 3 and 12; and free for children 2 and under. Call 937-229-4433 or order online at daytonflyers.cstv.com.

"The opportunity to host says a lot about what our team has accomplished this season and the progress our program has made," Horsmon said. "I think our program has taken a big step, and this announcement has given us that opportunity. We have talked about doing what has never been done here before, and playing into the second weekend is our goal."

The team and members of the University of Dayton division of athletics gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings in Kettering on Sunday, Nov. 25, and anxiously awaited to learn of their postseason fate. The Flyers were forced to wait until almost the end of the entire 64-team field to learn both of their opponent and the honor that they would host the preliminary rounds.

For the first time in its history, the Atlantic 10 Conference sent two teams to the NCAA Tournament as Xavier (24-10) earned an at-large berth.

"This is great news for our conference. The fact that Xavier got in shows everyone that the Atlantic 10 in not a one-bid league. We are excited for them and we hope that both of us will represent the A-10 well this weekend. Maybe this situation will work out into our favor in the future."

Overall, five opponents from Dayton's 2007 regular season schedule made their way to NCAA play. Miami (Ohio) was the third team from Southwest Ohio to make the field after winning the Mid-American Conference title. Also, Purdue, Ohio and Western Kentucky joined Xavier in earning at-large berths.

Dayton faced Michigan State in its first-ever NCAA Tournament match in 2003. It is also currently the only win for the Flyers in postseason play as UD pulled out a thrilling five-game victory over MSU in East Lansing.