The Tulsa volleyball squad will travel to Gainesville, Florida, to face the Florida Gators in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, at the Stephen O'Connell Center.
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 in a 6:30 p.m. contest on Friday. 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 TU 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.
Tulsa won the Conference USA Tournament to earn an automatic berth in the tournament. The Golden Hurricane is led by Conference USA Player of the Year Tyler Henderson, who leads the nation in kills per set with a 5.21 clip and points, averaging 5.77 per frame. C-USA Libero of the Year Jessica Adams paces the defense averaging 5.20 digs per set, which ranks 42nd nationally. Tulsa enters the tournament on a seven-match winning streak, and has won 19 of its past 21 contests.