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Volleyball Broncos going to Big Dance in Minneapolis

by Mat Kanan

Nov. 30, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of the Western Michigan University volloeyball team.
Broncos earn 11th trip to NCAA Tournament.
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's volleyball team earned an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament and will face the University of Washington in Minneapolis in the first round Friday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

This is the 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament for the WMU volleyball program and first since advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2008.

"We were cautiously optimistic [about a tournament bid], but we knew the body of work we put together and the strength of our conference would help our cause," said head coach Colleen Munson.

In addition to WMU, teams from the Mid-American Conference receiving bids were Ball State, Northern Illinois and Central Michigan, which got an automatic berth as winner of the MAC Tournament. Michigan also has four teams in the tournament, two from the MAC, plus Michigan and Michigan State from the Big Ten.

The winner of the Western Michigan (24-8) versus Washington (23-7) contest Friday will meet either North Dakota State (25-8) or 13th seed and regional host Minnesota (18-11) Saturday. Winners from this weekend's regional contests will continue play at the Sweet 16 in San Antonio beginning Dec. 9.

Senior Ashley Turnage was a freshman in 2008 and is the only Bronco remaining from that year's tournament team.

Updated Dec. 2—WMU's volleyball team rallied to tie early, but was unable to push past No. 11-rank Washington, falling 3-1 (25-13, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16) in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, played at the Sports Pavilion at the University of Minnesota. The Broncos concluded their 2011 season with a 24-9 record.

Visit for the tournament bracket and more information.

Visit for more information about Bronco volleyball.