The matchups for the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament were announced Sunday night.
North Carolina was named the seventh overall seed and will play Hampton in the first-round at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Carmichael Arena. The winner of that match will face the winner of Coastal Carolina vs. Southern California.
Duke is headed to the tournament for the second consecutive season and 19th time in program history. The Blue Devils (22-7, 14-4 ACC) earned an at-large bid.
Duke opens against Hawaii at 8 p.m. Friday in Seattle. The winner faces the winner of Washington vs. New Hampshire.
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First- and second-round matches will be played at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play Dec. 12 and 13. in Ames, Iowa; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis; or Seattle. All regional semifinal games will be shown on ESPN3. Regional final games will be televised on ESPNU.
North Carolina: Christian Barber pinned No. 8 Dylan Cottrell in overtime, and Ethan Ramos, Alex Utley and Joey Ward all earned bonus points to give North Carolina a 22-21 victory agaisnt Appalachian State at Varsity Gym. John Michael Staudenmayer also won his match as the Tar Heels grabbed their first dual win of the season.
Appalachian State (1-4) jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead thanks to a pin by Dominic Parisi at 125 and a 16-11 decision from Vito Pasone at 133.
Ward got Carolina (1-1) on the board at 141 thanks to a big third period against Michael Longo. The redshirt sophomore trailed 5-4 after one and led 7-5 after a late takedown in the second. But Longo chose to start down at the beginning of the third, and Ward dominated with 10 points in the period to score a 17-6 major decision.
Barber’s pin at 149 put the Tar Heels in front for the first time. The two ranked wrestlers were all square at 1 after three periods, and neither man was able to score in the first overtime. After no escapes in the 30-second overtime periods, No. 19 Barber pounced for a pin in the second sudden victory period to give UNC a 10-9 advantage.
The Mountaineers took the lead into the break with Zack Strickland’s 3-0 victory against Chris Mears at 157 before Ramos put the Tar Heels back in front. After a 4-4 first period against Nick Kee at 165, Ramos struck for 10 points in the final two periods to score a 14-5 major decision to make it 14-12 in favor of the Tar Heels.
No. 18 Staudenmayer took care of business at 174 with a 9-6 decision over Forrest Przybysz before Utley stretched the lead to 22-12 with a 16-1 technical fall against Nick Vetell. Utley built an 11-1 lead after one period and pushed it to 16-1 to score the tech fall and the five team points.
Those bonus points proved critical after Appalachian State won the final two bouts, including a pin by Denzel DeJournette at heavyweight.
North Carolina will break from competition for final exams before returning to the mat Dec. 13-14 for duals against Purdue and Chattanooga in Atlanta.