Utes seeded No. 12 for NCAAs

By Paige Fieldsted, Staff Writer

The wait is over. After waiting for a week to find out where it would be traveling for the first and second rounds of the NCAA, the Utah women’s volleyball team knows its fate.

The No. 12 seeded Utes are traveling across the country to South Carolina to take on Furman at the host campus of Clemson.

“We’ve been a good road team late in the season,” said head Coach Beth Launiere. “We’re excited. It doesn’t matter where you play, it’s the NCAAs.”

Utah earned the overall No. 12 seed, after finishing the regular season 24-5 and winning the Mountain West Conference Championship last week.

“We are very pleased with the 12 seed,” Launiere said. “It’s the highest seed we’ve ever had and it’s reflective of the season we’ve had this year.”

Although tournament play begins Thursday, the Utah team isn’t sure whether it will play Thursday or Friday.

The Utes will take on Furman in first round action. Tennessee and host school Clemson are also in the Utes’ bracket, but Utah is taking it one game at a time.

“I don’t want you guys to be looking ahead, lets take care of Furman and move on,” Launiere told her team after learning their destination.

Big wins over teams like Santa Clara, St. Louis, and Colorado State helped Utah earn its overall 12 seed, despite only being ranked 21st in the last week of regular season play.

“We never expected it but we are glad to get the ranking and we’ll take what we can get,” said middle blocker Lori Baird. “It’s a little overwhelming but we’re all so excited.”

Although excited about the high ranking, the Utes know that they have to work hard in order to keep their season alive.

“We’ve been rewarded for our hard work and success this season but now we have to get down to business,” Launiere said.

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Lennie Mahler

The Utah Women’s Volleyball team gathered in the Burbidge Center for the announcement of the seeding for the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament. The Utes were given the 12 seed and will face Furman University in the first round.