The University of Denver volleyball team will get tested by No. 5 Washington Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. MT, for their first round NCAA playoff match.
The Huskies, 28-2, co-Pac-12 champion and the No. 2 team in last week’s coaches poll, will face Summit League champion Denver (27-7) in a first-round match Friday at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, where UW led the Pac-12 in attendance for the seventh straight year.
According to The Seattle-Sun Times, the Huskies expected a better seed but were penalized for having a relatively low RPI, despite their 28-2 record. “There was kind of a begrudging cheer,” Head Coach Keegan Cook said. “There was kind of a smirk, if you will, a few smiles, some laughs. Then they looked around the room and said, ‘OK, let’s go.’ ”
The Pioneers are 27-7 on the season, winning both The Summit League Tournament and regular season titles with a 13-3 league record for the second season in a row. Denver won the Summit League Tournament Championship in comeback fashion after being down 2 sets to none to Omaha. The Pioneers completed the regular season with a 16-0 undefeated home record and tacked on two more home victories in The Summit League Championships.
Washington appears to be looking past the Pioneers. Said Coach Cook. “The potential match-ups down the road are exciting. There are some great story lines that you can find." And their Facebook page shows confident fans:
Sarah Greene: you got jacked on the seed, but that just means you can demolish your opponents en route to the final 4 and championship trophy!
Frank Zaccari: #2 in the nation but #5 in the tournament. A lot of people are going to look dumb when you go back to the Final Four Again.
This is the second appearance in two years for the Pioneers in the NCAA Tournament and a win would shock the volleyball world. Maybe the Huskies will be looking "down the road..."