EUGENE - Coming off its greatest regular season ever, the #5-seeded University of Oregon volleyball team (25-4, 16-4) was rewarded as a host for the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds for the third time in school history (and first time since 1986).
Receiving their highest NCAA tourney seed in school history, the Ducks will make their sixth NCAA Tournament trip the last seven years, and open the postseason on Friday (Nov. 30) at 8 p.m. against Big Sky champion Northern Colorado (24-10, 14-6).
All NCAA first and second round matches in Eugene will be held at Matthew Knight Arena. The West Coast Conference's Pepperdine (20-11, 8-8) will play Atlantic-10 champion Dayton (26-4, 14-0) at 5:30 p.m. in the other first round match in Eugene.
The winners of those two matches will return to Matthew Knight Arena for the second round on Saturday (Dec. 1) at 8 p.m.
If the Ducks win both of this weekend's matches, they will advance the NCAA Regionals (Omaha, Neb., Dec. 7-8) for the first time since 2008. That 2008 Oregon team dropped a five-set decision to Iowa State in the Austin Regional.
A week later the NCAA Semifinals are set for Louisville, Ky., on Thursday, December 13, and the national championship match follows on Saturday, December 15.
Oregon's 25-4 overall season record and second-place Pac-12 finish (16-4) marked UO's fourth upper-division finish under head coach Jim Moore, and seventh all-time after it placed fourth in '86, '87 and '89. Last year, the Ducks wrapped up their season at 21-10 followed a first-round loss to Colorado State in the NCAA Tournament.
Northern Colorado is heading to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years after winning the Big Sky title a week ago. Under the guidance of head coach Lyndsey Oates, the Bears tied a school record for single-season wins (24) in 2012.
Postseason-wise under Moore, UO staked four straight NCAA trips from 2006-09, including a pair of Regional 'Sweet 16' trips for the first time in 2007 and '08. In his tenure, the Ducks sport a 4-4 overall postseason, compared with a 1-4 mark prior to his arrival in its trips in 1984, '86, '87 and '89 (when the tourney wasn't 64 teams).
UO has hosted NCAA opening rounds twice at McArthur Court before in the 16-team NCAA tourney fields. In 1984, the Ducks beat Hawai'i, 3-2, then lost 3-1 to Stanford in 1986.
Oregon was one of seven Pac-12 teams selected for the 64-team field (including five, top-16 seeds with #2 Stanford, #6 USC, #7 UCLA and #13 Washington).