Nov. 25, 2007
2007 NCAA Volleyball Tournament Bracket
The brackets are set and the American University volleyball team is heading to Durham, N.C. to face the Duke Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament Friday, Nov. 30.
The Eagles earned their tournament berth with a 3-0 win over Colgate to capture their seventh-consecutive Patriot League Tournament title. AU completed its 2007 campaign with a 26-7 overall record, a 13-1 mark against PL opponents and a 17-1 record at home. American ranks fifth in the NCAA with 2.44 aces per game and 23rd nationally with its .266 team hitting percentage.
Individually the Eagles are led by junior outside hitter Rubena Sukaj. Sukaj earned her second straight PL Player of the Year award this season after ranking second in the nation in kills per game (5.54) and eighth in aces per game (0.68). Sophomore Ivana Cebakova earned her first career major award from the PL as the Co-Defensive Player of the Year averaging 3.66 digs per game. Senior Chelsa Brooks joined Sukaj as a member of this year's All-PL First Team and is the program's all-time leader in block assists, among the top-three in total blocks and will finish her career as an Eagle with a hitting percentage over .300. Junior setter Christina Nash was named the PL Tournament MVP and is currently averaging 10.31 assists per game and has a .393 hitting percentage.
This marks American's ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Head Coach Barry Goldberg and is the program's seventh-consecutive trip to the "Big Dance". The Eagles have never won an NCAA Tournament match and are 0-8.
American's first round opponent, Duke, enters the tournament with a 24-6 overall record and finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season standings. The Blue Devils are led by senior setter Ali Hausfeld who broke her own school record for assists in a season (1,594) and senior outside hitter Carrie DeMange who broke the school record for kills in a season (568).
AU and Duke have squared off three times in their history with Duke holding a slight 2-1 advantage. The last meeting between the two, a 3-0 Duke win, was in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. In 2002, AU won a five game decision at Duke in the Duke Classic. Their first meeting was on opening night of the 1993 season and resulted in a 3-0 Blue Devil victory.
Liberty (27-8) and No. 10 California (22-7) will join American and Duke in Durham for first round action and will also play Friday. The winner of each match will play Saturday, Dec. 1, with the winner of that match advancing to regional action in Madison, Wis., Dec. 7-8.
For more information on the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament or to view a complete bracket, click here.