ELMHURST, Ill. – The Denver Pioneers square-off against the Cal Poly Mustangs in the first round of the 2017 NCAA DI Volleyball Championship at 7:30 p.m. CT tomorrow night from Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif.
Denver clinched The Summit League's auto-bid to the NCAA tournament for the fourth-consecutive season after besting Oral Roberts, 3-1, in the league tournament on Nov. 19. The Pioneers (23-5) will face a Mustang team that has won a program-record 21-straight matches. Cal Poly (26-2) ranks 16th in the latest RPI, while Denver finished the season at 54th—the third-best end-of-season RPI ranking in league history.
Five Things to Know:
- Denver has played in the NCAA tournament the past three seasons, losing in straight-sets to Stanford in 2016, Washington in 2015 and Colorado State in 2014.
- The Pioneers have won their last 11 matches, six of which were straight-set victories.
- The only common opponents the Pioneers and Mustangs faced in 2017 was UC Davis and UC Riverside. Denver went 2-0 (both sweeps) and Cal Poly went 4-0 (three sweeps) against them.
- Also this season, the Pioneers posted their best winning percentage (.821) in league play since joining the Summit in 2013.
- The winner of Friday's contest will take on either host UCLA (19-10) or Austin Peay (30-5) at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 2.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.