NCAA First and Second Rounds:
Thursday, Nov. 29
Hilton Coliseum - Ames, Iowa
Cal (15-15) vs. North Carolina (25-5), 5 p.m. CT
Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (25-6) vs. No. 15 Iowa State (20-7), 7:30 p.m. CT
Friday, Nov. 30
Hilton Coliseum - Ames, Iowa
Thursday's winners, 7:30 p.m. CT
Follow the Match
Thursday's match will be streamed live on NCAA.com and Cylcones.tv. Live stats will also be available on NCAA.com, and fans can also follow the Tar Heels during the match on Twitter -@UNCVolleyball. Ticket information is available here.
Entering the Match
Coming into Thursday's match, North Carolina has a 25-5 overall record and ended the season with a 16-4 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing third in the ACC. The Tar Heels finished the season with a No. 24 ranking in the AVCA Weekly Poll (11/19) and are No. 14 on the 11/26 NCAA RPI list.
The Tar Heels received votes in each of the AVCA weekly season polls, with their highest ranking coming at No. 22 on 11/5. UNC was undefeated at home this season (15-0).
Cal finished the regular season 15-15 with a 9-11 record in the Pacific-12 Conference. The Golden Bears are No. 39 on the NCAA RPI, and finished seventh in the Pac-12.
Tar Heels in the NCAA Tournament
This is North Carolina's 14th appearance in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament and their fourth in the last five years. This is the third straight year Carolina will face California. UNC is 1-2 all-time against the Golden Bears, with their first meeting coming in 1981. In 2010, UNC lost to Cal 3-0 in the NCAA second round in Berkeley, Calif. Last year, Carolina won 3-2 in the first round in Malibu, Calif., before dropping a 3-0 match to Pepperdine in the second round.
Carolina made it to the 2002 Sweet Sixteen, where the Tar Heels were topped by Hawaii 3-0 in Lincoln, Neb. UNC has played Iowa State once, losing to the Cyclones in 1987. The Tar Heels have not faced IPFW in a volleyball match.
Scouting the Golden Bears
This is California's 16th overall and 11th-straight showing in the NCAA Tournament. Cal is coached by Rich Feller. Although the Golden Bears have a .500 overall record of 15-15, they have beaten two top-10 teams (No. 6 Oregon and No. 8 Hawaii) and finished the season with a strong top-50 RPI of 39.
Cal is led by senior Shannon Hawari, who has 314 kills with a .374 attack in 30 matches this season. She has also grabbed 137 blocks, averaging 1.20/set. Senior Kat Brown has 149 total blocks (1.31/set), and freshman Mary McKennon has recorded 405 digs in her first season at Cal. Junior Adrienne Gehan has 301 kills with 16 aces and 230 digs.
Head Coach Joe Sagula
This is Sagula's 23rd season at UNC, where he has led the Tar Heels to five ACC titles and 10 NCAA appearances. He was voted the 1998, 2000 and 2001 AVCA East Region Coach of the Year, and has the most wins by a coach in league play in ACC history with 240. Sagula has an overall record of 470-286 at Carolina.
2012 Honors and Awards
• ACC Player of the Week: Senior Emily McGee: 11/5
• ACC Freshman of the Week: Paige Neuenfeldt, six times: 10/1, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/19, 11/26.
• ACC Freshman of the Year: Paige Neuenfeldt
• All- ACC Team: Senior Emily McGee (third time) and sophomore Chaniel Nelson (second time)
• AVCA Top-25 Rankings: No. 22 (11/5), No. 25 (11/12), No. 24 (11/19)