Tigers get gypped by NCAA selection committee
Women’s volleyball had one of the most remarkable seasons since their national championship winning seasons in 1985 and 1986. The Tigers capped off the year with a 24-7 record, even boasting a 10-game win streak in the first part of the season.
Pacific flexed their muscles in conference, finishing with a 13-5 record. They won their last five games of the season to move into a second place finish in West Coast Conference behind No. 12 BYU.
Despite a stellar season, the Tigers were omitted from the NCAA playoffs. Four of their West Coast Conference counterparts were included in the bidding to the tournament, including three teams ranked below in conference play.
Needless to say, the absence of an invitation for Pacific came as a surprise to most.
The NCAA’s press release for the postseason tournament revealed, “In the 33-year history of the championship, 10 schools have been crowned champion, nine of which are in this year’s bracket.” Pacific is the 10th school that has earned a national championship and was not able to participate in this past year’s tournament due to the discretion of the selection committee.
Pacific unexpectedly completed the 2014 season with tremendous accolades. They dominated during the fall season as a superior force on defense, holding opponents to a .145 hitting percentage, which ranked No. 10 in the country.
They also tallied an average of 2.61 blocks per set, ranking No. 34. Also notably, Gillian Howard ’15, Lexi Elman ’17 and Kat Schulz ’16 each received WCC Player of the Week honors at one point during this season.
Throughout the fall season, they were one of the best teams in the country. The Tigers were unfortunately cheated an opportunity to showcase their abilities on a national stage.
Pacific will lose three seniors to graduation: Howard, Katy Tagart ’15 and Francesca Zaragoza ’15.
Howard has been dynamic on both offense and defense during her career at Pacific and was notably named an AVCA All-American.
The Tigers will be back in action this fall, looking to pick up right where they left off.
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