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Preview: NCAA volleyball tournament team capsules

  • November 29, 2012 - 11:56 PM

TEAM CAPSULES

Gophers at a glance: Seeded eighth overall in the tournament, the Gophers (24-7) are 16-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Their only loss came to Sacramento State in 2007. They have never faced Liberty but are 4-0 against Creighton and 7-0 against Marquette. Senior opposite hitter Katherine Harms and junior middle blocker Tori Dixon were unanimously selected to the All-Big Ten team; Dixon is third nationally in hitting percentage (.444), while the team (.302) ranks fourth in the NCAA in that category. Freshman Daly Santana is seventh in the national rankings in aces per set (0.49).

Liberty at a glance: The champions of the Big South Conference tournament, the Lady Flames (25-7) have won their past 10 matches. This will be their seventh appearance in the NCAA tournament. Junior setter Jade Craycraft was the MVP of the Big South tournament, averaging 10.6 assists per set.

Creighton at a glance: The Bluejays (28-3) continue the best season in program history after winning both the regular-season and league tournament titles in the Missouri Valley Conference. They finished 17-1 in conference play. In 2010, Creighton made its first NCAA tournament appearance and beat Iowa State before losing to the Gophers in the second round at the Sports Pavilion. Senior setter Megan Bober, the conference's player of the year, is the first in league history to record 4,000 assists, 800 kills, 1,000 digs and 400 blocks.

Marquette at a glance: The Golden Eagles (27-6) earned an at-large bid to the tournament after setting a school record for most victories in a season. They lost to 10th-ranked Louisville in the finals of the Big East Conference tournament. Marquette made its NCAA tournament debut last season, defeating No. 24 Western Kentucky before losing to NCAA runner-up Illinois. Three players -- senior middle hitter Danielle Carlson, senior right-side hitter Holly Mertens and junior setter Elizabeth Koberstein -- were named to the All-Big East first team.

RACHEL BLOUNT

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