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WVU Awaits First NCAA Tournament Appearance

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (December 2, 2021) – The West Virginia University women’s volleyball team travels to the 2021 NCAA Tournament host site, Lexington, Kentucky, to meet Illinois in a first-round matchup on Friday, Dec. 3. 

First serve is set for at 5 p.m. ET inside the Memorial Coliseum. Live stats and video can be found on 

“It is great to be a Mountaineer,” coach Reed Sunahara said. “This is an exciting time for our program and our players. We are excited to go to Lexington this week.” 

The Mountaineers earned their first-ever bid in the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. 

WVU enters the tournament with a 19-9 mark this fall, good for a third-place finish in the Big 12 Conference. The squad went 8-8 in Big 12 play. Of note, West Virginia is one of seven Big 12 schools to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, marking the second most schools for a conference at the NCAA Tournament. 

The Mountaineers closed out the 2021 regular season hitting .211, with an average of 13.59 kills per set.  

West Virginia was led by fifth-year senior middle blocker Adrian Ell, who averaged 3.42 kills per set. Senior setter Lacey Zerwas averaged 10.32 assists per set, while fifth-year senior defensive specialist Alexa Hasting recorded 3.92 digs per set.  

Illinois won its only match against West Virginia back in 1978.  

The Fighting Illini finished the 2021 season 20-11, with a 12-8 conference record in the Big 10. Illinois ended the season hitting .225, with an average of 13 kills per set.  

The team is led by sophomore outside hitter Rainia Terry who averaged 3.37 kills per set and .47 service aces per set. Additionally, redshirt junior setter Diana Brown averaged 10.22 assists per set, and senior defensive specialist Taylor Kuper dug an average of 4.47 balls per set. 

The Mountaineer’s hard work this season paid off. Opening the season 10-0 for the first time since 2017, West Virginia swept No. 23 Michigan in a match on Sept. 3. The team tallied its first win at Iowa State and a season sweep over Oklahoma for the first time in program history. 

Of the 64 teams, 32 teams received automatic qualification, while the remaining 32 teams were selected on an at-large basis by the Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee. 

The first and second rounds will be Dec. 2-4 in a single-elimination first round competition. The teams that win in round one will play each other in round two on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.  

Regionals will take place from Dec. 9-11. The championship will be held in Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Press Release: WVU Athletic Department

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