INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) revealed its bracket for the 2018 Division III women's volleyball national tournament on Monday with Southern Vermont College being paired against Ithaca College in the first round of the regional playoff.
IC was one of eight schools selected to be a regional site and will host four matches on Friday—including its 8 p.m. first-round tilt against SVC.
Winners from Friday's contests will line up on Saturday at Ithaca in the regional semifinals. The two teams to advance from that round will then play on Sunday to determine which squad will head to Pittsburgh, Pa. the following weekend for the national championship quarterfinals.
Southern Vermont is making its fourth NCAA tournament appearance in program history after winning the New England Collegiate Conference title over the weekend. The Mountaineers are one of 43 teams that received an automatic-qualifying bid into the bracket. Two schools were selected from Pool B which consisted of independent institutions and schools from conferences that do not meet the automatic qualification criteria; the final 19 berths for the field of 64 were awarded to squads from Pool C which included institutions that were not league champions of their automatic-qualifying conferences.
"We have fully enjoyed our championship over the past 24 hours," said SVC second-year head coach Pat Robidoux, "and, for a lot of us, the full gravity of the situation still hasn't hit us. We are thrilled about the opportunity to go to Ithaca and compete with one of the top teams in the country to see how we match up. The thrill of winning our conference and jumping into the NCAA tourney is something that these ladies will never forget."
Southern Vermont enters Friday night's match with an overall record of 21-6 while the Bombers sit at 18-7 on the year. Ithaca went 7-0 in Liberty League play during the year but lost 3-1 to Clarkson University in the semifinals of the conference tournament. IC is 9-2 in its home gym this season—including its loss to Clarkson—while SVC is 10-2 on the road with an 8-2 record against teams playing on their own court.
"I have a great deal of respect for Coach Dulfer and the program that he has built," Robidoux said. "We actually spoke over the phone a few times over the past few years, and he has provided me with some strong career advice. I very much would consider him a mentor, and I am excited about this matchup."
Southern Vermont and Ithaca have only played each other once before—that being a 3-0 Mountaineer win in 2011 at Kean University.
For more information about the Ithaca regional, visit https://athletics.ithaca.edu/sports/2018/11/5/2018%20NCAA%20Regional%20Rounds%20Portal.aspx.
To see the NCAA's bracket unveiling and the full 64-team field, visit https://www.ncaa.com/news/volleyball-women/article/2018-11-03/ncaa-volleyball-diii-womens-championship-bracket-announced.
– #LetsGoSVC –