The season and chance at a NCAA championship continues for UC Irvine.
The Anteaters earned the final at-large bid to the seven-team NCAA Tournament field that was announced Sunday afternoon.
UC Irvine finished the regular season in third place in the Big West and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals before losing to Hawai’i four games. In addition, the Anteaters had five regular season victories against teams projected to be under NCAA Tournament consideration.
Despite the postseason loss and losing the season series 1-2 to Hawai’i, the Anteaters edged out the Rainbow Warriors for the last of two at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Anteaters entered the week at No. 4 and one spot ahead of the Rainbow Warriors in the RPI rankings, which is one of the criteria categories used to determine the NCAA Tournament field.
UC Irvine making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015 will play the winner of Ohio State and King in the NCAA Tournament play-in match.
UCLA was the other team to earn at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. UCLA, which is also the host site of the VolleyFour, will play the EIVA champions Harvard in the NCAA Tournament first round on Tuesday, May. 1.
Both Long Beach State and BYU earned the top two seeds and byes to the VolleyFour.
The Big West champions Long Beach State received the No. 1 overall seed and will play UC Irvine, Ohio State or King in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. In addition, BYU will play the winner of UCLA and Harvard in its semifinal match.