For the third time in program history and the second straight season, Auburn volleyball will appear in the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s a big deal," said head coach Brent Crouch. "Never been done here at Auburn, twice in a row as we know. So it’s a huge step forward. It’s also a huge step forward that we knew we were in. We were not a bubble team. We got seeded and that’s a huge step in the right direction.”
Auburn's position in the 64-team tournament field was confirmed Sunday evening, with the No. 7 seed Tigers set to face Western Michigan (30-2) in their first game. The Broncos are one of just two 30-win teams in the tournament field, along with Dayton. The game will take place in Louisville, Kentucky.
The top seed in the Tigers' region is Pittsburgh, the No. 4 overall seed in the field. The winner of the game between the Tigers (20-9) and Broncos will face either the region's No. 2 seed Louisville or Wright State in the second round of the tournament. Louisville is the host team for the first two rounds of the Tigers' section of the bracket.
“It’s so special. It’s so cool. This team, we have so much potential," said sophomore Madison Scheer. "We’ve really started to peak and I think we’re really excited about what we can do this week. It’s awesome. It’s so cool and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
In Auburn's previous two tournament appearances, the Tigers won their first-round game before falling in the second round. Last season, the Tigers pulled a five-set road upset of nationally-seeded Creighton before falling in five sets to Houston. Before Crouch took over the Auburn volleyball program, the Tigers had one tournament appearance. Crouch has now led the Tigers to two appearances in the tournament.
The Tigers will begin the tournament on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. CST against the Broncos. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.
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Matthew is a senior from Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in journalism. He started with The Plainsman in fall 2021.