Kentucky Selected for Runza/AVCA Showcase
March 5, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team was selected as one of four teams to begin its season at the premier Runza/American Volleyball Coaches Association Showcase in Omaha, Neb., to begin the season in 2010. The Conference Challenge format that was unveiled in 2008 will continue in 2010, with host school Nebraska, as well as Iowa State, representing the Big 12 Conference. Kentucky along with Florida will represent the Southeastern Conference as the challengers.
"This showcase has been the long standing premier preseason event across the country, and we are looking forward to an exciting weekend" Kentucky coach Craig Skinner said. "We are thrilled to be competing against two of the best teams in the country and representing the SEC along with Florida."
Under the Conference Challenge format, each school plays the two teams from the other conference, and does not play the other school from its own league.
This year's Showcase will be played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Kentucky will play Nebraska in the second match of the Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 28, beginning at 4:30 CDT. Sunday's match for the Blue and White features Iowa State at 2 p.m. local time.
Now in its 16th year, the Showcase continually proves to be the country's premier regular season collegiate volleyball tournament. Six of the Showcase's eight participating teams in the past two seasons have reached the NCAA Tournament round of eight later that same year; four of those six advanced to the national semifinals. This year's field promises to continue that tradition of excellence, as each of the four teams finished in the top 15 of the final 2009 AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll, as well as reached an NCAA Regional in 2009.
Kentucky has continued to soar to new heights under Skinner who is entering his sixth season at the helm of the Wildcat program. The Wildcats have appeared in a school-record five consecutive NCAA tournaments. The Blue and White captured the SEC Eastern Division crown in 2009 and finished the season ranked No. 12 in the nation after its first Sweet Sixteen appearance under Skinner.
The Qwest Center in Omaha will host its fourth consecutive, and fifth overall, Showcase in 2010. The venue, which played host to an NCAA-record crowd of 17,430 during the 2008 national semifinals, has also hosted the four highest-attended Showcase sessions in the event's 15 years.
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