UMES TO FACE UCLA IN FIRST ROUND OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Nov. 27, 2011
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. -- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, will face 9-seed UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on December 2nd in Los Angeles. The 64-team bracket was released today on ESPNU. The match is set for 11:00 p.m. ET (8:00 p.m. PT).
The Hawks volleyball team watched the selection show from the viewing party at Uno's Chicago Grill in Fruitland, looking on with friends, fellow student-athletes, alumni and employees of the university in attendance.
UMES is playing in their first ever NCAA Tournament in the 28-year history of the volleyball program. The Hawks are currently on a 19-match winning streak, finishing the regular season at 24-6 after winning the MEAC Tournament last week. UMES also sports a perfect road record at 10-0.
"It is going to be an exciting first round matchup for us because not only do we get to play an incredible Pac-12 team, but it also gives a chance for a couple of our girls to play against their mentor Joy McKenzie-Fuerbringer," says coach Don Metil.
Three Hawks, Zoe Bowens (Long Beach, Calif.), Saitaua Iosia (Long Beach, Calif.) and Victoria Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) will all return to their home state for this match. Both Bowens and Iosia played under McKenzie-Fuerbringer, a current UCLA assistant coach, while with Mizuno Long Beach.
I don't even know to say, my level of excitement is huge, and I love that most of my family will get to see me play in a college match before my career is over," says Bowens.
UMES's opponent, UCLA, comes into the tournament as the 9-seed in the NCAA Tournament and will serve as a campus site for the first two rounds. The Lady Bruins stand at 24-6 on the season, finishing second in the Pac-12 to USC. UCLA is led by junior outside hitter Rachael Kidder, who has 464 kills, 209 digs and 72 total blocks.
The winner of this match will go to the second round to face the winner of Long Beach State and San Diego in Los Angeles.