TULSA — The Tulsa volleyball squad will take its talents to Gainesville, Florida, to face the Florida Gators in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at the Stephen O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
The Conference USA Champion Golden Hurricane (26-9, 14-2 C-USA) will face the No. 14 seeded Gators (25-4, 19-1 SEC) in the first meeting between the two programs. Florida won the Southeastern Conference title this year; marking the 20th time in program history it has accomplished that feat.
"It is going to be a tough first round match," commented Head Coach Steven McRoberts. "Any time you draw a seeded team in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament you know it is going to be tough as you are going to be playing them on their home floor. Florida has a great history of winning SEC Championships and going far in the NCAA Tournament. We have our work cut out for us to prepare. We have been playing our best volleyball the past three weeks, from that view point we are excited about the challenge as it is going to be a tough one."
The victor of the Tulsa/Florida match will face the winner of the Miami (Fla.)/College of Charleston in a second round matchup on Saturday, December 1. The winner of that match will move on to play in the Round of 16 in Austin, Texas.
This marks the third consecutive year that the Golden Hurricane has made the NCAA Tournament, and fourth time in school history.
"I'm very excited for The University of Tulsa and for the program that we are here for the third year in a row," McRoberts said. "We are going to be on a national stage on Friday night playing against Florida. A lot of people follow Florida, and they will have four to five thousand fans at the match. I am proud to be back in the tournament, but we have in our mind all year long that we want to advance even further in the NCAA Tournament than we have the past couple years, and it will be tough to do that. We know when we play well that we have the chance to beat anybody. We have to go in with that mindset."