East Lansing, Mich. -- Michigan State has earned an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament, and will host first- and second-round matches at Jenison Field House next weekend (Dec. 2-3).
The Spartans (24-8, 13-7 Big Ten) earned the tournament's overall No. 9 seed, and will take on MAAC Champion Fairfield in the first round at 7:30 on Friday, the second game of the day. At 5 pm, Horizon League entry Cleveland State will take on Arizona out of the Pac-12. Winners of the Friday matches will play at on Saturday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
The Spartans are making their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and have won five straight first-round NCAA Tournament games. The 2016 Spartans finished the regular season with a 24-8 overall record, and were 13-7 for a fifth-place finish in the Big Ten Conference. The Big Ten has six teams seeded (No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 9 MSU, No. 12 Michigan, and No. 16 Penn State) serving as first-round hosts, and sent overall sent eight teams into the NCAA Tournament field.
"This is obviously one of the things we work for all year -- to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament and to compete for a national championship," said head coach Cathy George. "We have worked to put ourselves in a position to be successful and play at home, and I am thrilled that our players were rewarded with the opportunity to play in front of the fans who have been so very supportive of us for so many years. I think it will be a great weekend of volleyball and we're excited to start preparing for Fairfield."
MSU is making its 19th overall NCAA Tournament appearance, and earned its sixth consecutive at-large bid to the Championship, the second-longest streak in school history. MSU made it to the second round in 2011, 2014, and 2015, and advanced to the Sweet 16 both 2012 and 2013. MSU made ten consecutive NCAA Tournament fields from 1994-2003, and is now making its ninth appearance in the 12-year tenure of current coach Cathy George, who owns 596 career coaching victories.
Michigan State is hosting NCAA Tournament games for the fifth time in school history and the first time since 2003. MSU also hosted tournament events in 1995 and 1996, when MSU advanced to the Final Four and Elite Eight, respectively. The Spartans also hosted a first-round match in 1998.
MSU's streak of six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is the third-longest in the Big Ten, behind Penn State and Nebraska. In addition, MSU, Nebraska, and Penn State are the only teams to finish .500 or better in Big Ten play over the last six seasons (2011-16).
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for the 2016 NCAA Volleyball First and Second Rounds at Jenison Field House will go on sale at 10 am Monday morning through the Spartan ticket office. All-session reserved and general admission tickets (all three games) will be priced at $14, and $8 for seniors, children, and MSU students (children under 2 are no charge). GoGreen card holders, and members of the Junior Spartan and MSU Volleyball Kids Clubs should note that the cards/membership are NOT valid for admission to NCAA Tournament events.