New Mexico State will travel to San Diego, Calif., to face Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 4 p.m. (PT) this Friday, Dec. 6.
The Aggies (22-10) earned the WAC's automatic bid by winning the WAC Tournament title last Wednesday with a sweep of Bakersfield. This is New Mexico State's seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and second in a row.
The Aggies are led by WAC Player of the Year and WAC Tournament MVP Desiree Scott, who averages 2.62 kills on .372 hitting and 1.33 blocks per set.
Arizona (20-12) earned an at-large bid out of the Pacific-12 Conference. The Wildcats tied for fifth in the Pac-12 with a 10-10 conference mark. Arizona is led by Madi Kingdon, who averages 4.38 kills and 3.19 digs per set.
“[Arizona] Coach Rubio and I are good friends and he is the brother of our assistant [Keith Rubio] so there is some familiarity there. It will be an interesting match-up,” said head coach Mike Jordan. “The fact that we are not playing a top-16 seeded team is a positive. This is a winnable match.”
In the other match, host and No. 9 seed San Diego (24-3) will face UC Santa Barbara (18-10) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Toreros won the West Coast Conference title with a 16-2 mark and are currently on a 15-match winning streak. UCSB shared the Big West regular-season title with Cal State Northridge and Hawai‘i, but earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament due to the conference's head-to-head tiebreaker.
The winners of the two matches will play at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.