WAC volleyball tournament preview

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CSU Bakersfield looking to repeat and earn automatic bid to NCAA tournament

Adam Cichoski | Sports writer | @AdamCichoski

When the volleyball teams of the Western Athletic Conference travel to Kansas City for the WAC volleyball tournament, they will have one thing on their minds: win and get in.  The winner gets the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. CSUB-SU-44

CSU Bakersfield is the defending tournament champions and will enter the tournament at the No. 2 seed.  In 2014, they entered as the No. 3 seed and won three straight matches, including an upset victory of No. 2 seed New Mexico State, on their way to the NCAA tournament. The ‘Runners earned a first-round bye and will play the winner between No. 3 seed Utah Valley University and No. 6 seed UTRGV

New Mexico State enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed after going a perfect 14-0 in conference play.  The Aggies are currently on a 16-game winning streak and are looking to get past the semifinal round where they lost a year ago to eventual champion CSU Bakersfield.  NMSU will face the winner of the match between No. 4 seed Seattle University and No. 5 seed UMKC in a semifinal match on Saturday November 21.

UVU will take on UTRGV in the first quarterfinal match.  The Wolverines will lean on senior Lauren Bakker, who became the fourth Wolverine to reach 1,000 kills and the first to accomplish 1,000 kills and 500 blocks in her career. UVU won both matches, 3-1, this season against the Vaqueros. Their match begins at 4 p.m. MT on Thursday.

UMKC takes on Seattle in the other quarterfinal match; beginning at 6:30 p.m. MT. Seattle swept the season series, taking the first match 3-2 and the second 3-1 in Seattle. VballvsNM10.2.14-9

The automatic bid to the NCAA tournament is on the line when these six teams take the court in Kansas City and it is anyone’s trophy to win.