Gophers volleyball team earns No. 3 overall seed in NCAA Tournament

The University of Minnesota volleyball program is the No. 3 overall seed in the 2021 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championships, announced today on ESPNU. The Golden Gophers are one of 48 teams selected teams, and an at-large bid.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the entire NCAA tournament will be played in Omaha, Neb., at the CHI Health Center Arena and Convention Center. With the field at 48 teams instead of the usual 64, first-round matches occur April 14, followed by second-round matches April 15. In this championship bracket format, the top 16 seeds receive a first-round bye and play winners of the first-round matches. With the No. 3 seed, Minnesota receives that first-round bye and will play the winner of Georgia Tech/Lipscomb on April 15th at 6 p.m. CT, on ESPN3.

Georgia Tech is an at-large bid and finished its regular season with a 13-4 overall and ACC record. Lipscomb won its seventh ASUN championship in program history yesterday and will make its eighth NCAA tournament appearance. Also seeded in the top right quadrant is No. 6 Washington, No. 11 Louisville and No. 14 Utah. In the lower right quadrant, it includes No. 2 Kentucky, No. 7 Purdue, No. 10 Oregon and No. 15 Washington State. Regional semifinals begin April 18, followed by the regional finals April 19. The two national semifinal matches are scheduled for April 22, as the national championship match is slated for April 24.

Minnesota is one of six Big Ten teams to make the NCAA field of 48, all of which are top-16 seeded teams. Wisconsin, holds the overall No. 1 seed, followed by Minnesota as the No. 3, Nebraska as the No. 5, Purdue as No. 7, Ohio State as the No. 9 seed and No. 12 seed Penn State.

The 2021 spring season marks the 25th year the Golden Gophers have advanced to the NCAA tournament. Minnesota has also advanced to the tournament six-straight seasons and eight under ninth-year head coach Hugh McCutcheon. In 2019, Minnesota advanced to its sixth NCAA Division I Championship in program history and third under McCutcheon. The Gophers punched their ticket to the Final Four with a win over Louisville in the Texas Region and finished the year with a 27-6 record.