The 2011 NCAA Volleyball Championship gets underway on Friday afternoon as Marquette takes on Western Kentucky at Huff Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois. The match starts at 4:30pm and will be streamed live by the Illinois athletic department and available here. The winner of this match will take on the winner of #3 seeded Illinois and Central Michigan on Saturday at 7pm.
Marquette (23-10) reached the NCAA Championship as an at large bid after finishing tied for 2nd in the Big East with and being knocked out of the Big East Championship by the Cincinnati Bearcats. This is the first ever appearance in the NCAA Championship. Marquette had 4 players named to the All Big East team, as hitters Danielle Carlson and Ciara Jones were named to the first time, while hitter Ashley Beyer and setter Chelsea Heier were named to the second team. Heier added the Big East Freshman of the Year award to her all-conference award.
Western Kentucky (31-3) won the Sun Belt's Eastern Division and overall regular season title and followed that up by winning the Sun Belt Tournament with a 3-1 win over Middle Tennessee State. This is their 4th Sun Belt Championship and 6th trip to the NCAA Championship. The Hilltoppers put 4 players on the All Sun Belt first team, including SBC Player Of The Year Jordyn Skinner, while SBC Defensive Player Of The Year Ashley Potts was one of 2 Hilltoppers on the All Sun Belt second team. Skinner led WKU in kills at 3.83 per set and finished 2nd on the team in digs with 3.45/set.