Despite going 27-1 on the season and beating every team they played at least once, the UCF Knights Volleyball team will have to go to Penn State for the first weekend of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
The Knights are a 5-seed and will face Yale on Friday, December 1st. The winner of that match plays the winner of 4-seed Penn State and UMBC the following day.
Why Did 27-1 UCF Not Host?
UCF finished with a better RPI (17) than Penn State (19).
But the Knights’ schedule strength, which ranked 107th and only had one top-25 RPI win (which came in Friday night’s classic win over Houston) likely kept them from hosting.
Penn State, by comparison, had three top-25 RPI wins — including a top-5 RPI win over Stanford — and the 37th-strongest schedule.
First Things First: About Yale
This year marks the eighth NCAA appearance for the Bulldogs, who finished 23-2 and won their third Ivy League regular season title in the last four years. They also pulled the double by winning the Ivy League tournament. Yale’s last appearance was in 2018.
They are led by a solid defense, which is 5th in the nation in opponents’ hitting percentage at .147 (UCF is 13th at .158).
Both UCF and Yale have a common opponent this season. They both swept Syracuse in non-conference play.
About the Lions
Should UCF get past Yale, they will likely face the host Penn State Nittany Lions in the second round.
Penn State is one of the marquee programs in NCAA Volleyball history. They have made every NCAA Tournament ever — 42 straight — and have won seven national championships, including an incredible four in a row from 2007-2010.
However, this is the first NCAA Tournament for Penn State’s first-year head coach, Katie Schumacher-Cawley, who took over for legendary Head Coach Russ Rose, who coached from 1979-2021 and has won more matches than any coach in NCAA history.
First serve for UCF and Yale is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. ET.