AVCA Announces 2011 Showcase Teams, Location and New Title Sponsor
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2011) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) premier collegiate tournament will be heading to University Park, Pa. in 2011, with Penn State University's Rec Hall serving as the host venue. In addition, Rockvale Outlets, one of country's largest outlet malls, has signed on as the new title sponsor. The Rockvale Outlets/AVCA College Volleyball Showcase will be held Friday and Saturday, August 26-27, 2011.
2010 NCAA Champion, Penn State, along with 2009 NCAA semifinalist, Minnesota, will represent the Big Ten Conference. 2010 semifinalist University of Southern California and the University of Oregon will represent the Pac-12 Conference. Under the conference challenge format, each school will be up against the two teams from the opposing conference. Friday, August 26, Penn State will face off against Oregon, and Minnesota will take on USC. Saturday, August 27, Penn State will meet USC and Minnesota will compete against Oregon. Specific match times will be announced at a later date.
Now in its 17th year, the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase is the country's premier opening weekend tournament. Three of the four participating teams ended the 2010 campaign ranked in the top-ten of the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll; all are likely to start 2011 in the top 20.
"For the last 17 years, the first serve in the Showcase marks the start of a new women's volleyball season," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "We appreciate Penn State University and Rockvale Outlets partnering with us to continue this tradition of excellence."
Penn State has built a volleyball dynasty, winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive national championship in 2010, the fifth title in program history, all under the tutelage of Russ Rose. The Nittany Lions return the AVCA Freshman of the Year and Second-Team All-American Deja McClendon, who was also tabbed the 2010 NCAA Championship's Most Outstanding Player. Flanking McClendon will be Kristen Carpenter, also a member of the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team, while Darcy Dorton, the 2009 AVCA Mideast Region Freshman of the Year, is back after being sidelined in 2010 with an injury.
Minnesota ended the 2010 campaign with a 26-9 record, a No. 10 finish in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll, made a regional semifinal appearance and defeated every team in the Big Ten for the first time since 2004.The Gophers, mentored by interim head coach Laura Bush, welcome back the 2010 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Big Ten selection Jessica Granquist, with fellow Big Ten honorees Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman looking to key the Minnesota offensive attack.
Mick Haley, fresh off guiding his team to the 2010 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship semifinals and a No. 3 final national ranking, welcomes a talented roster back to the court in 2011. The Women of Troy will be keyed by two-time AVCA All-American Alex Jupiter, while the AVCA All-American pair of Kendall Bateman and Lauren Williams will also bring experience to the squad.
After closing 2010 with a record of 19-11, coach Jim Moore looks to lead his Oregon Ducks back to the NCAA Tournament, after narrowly missing the opportunity a season ago. Oregon will be paced by Pac-10 honorees Alaina Bergsma and Lauren Plum.
Information for purchasing tickets for the 2011 Rockvale Outlets/AVCA College Volleyball Showcase will be released at a later date.
About Rockvale Outlets
Rockvale Outlets is an award winning, 560,000 square foot outlet shopping center located in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Ranked as one of the largest and most successful factory outlet centers in the country, Rockvale Outlets features more than 100 brand name factory direct stores including Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids Outlets, Restoration Hardware Outlet, LOFT Outlet, Disney Outlet, Bose Outlet, Border's Outlet, Jones New York and three exclusive merchants, Noah's Landing, Strasburg Station and the Eagles End Zone. The center features five restaurants including an Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel and Ruby Tuesday and an on-site hotel. Amenities include shuttle/trolley service, several ATM machines and two children's play areas. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. More information is available at http://www.rockvaleoutletslancaster.com/
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to develop the sport of volleyball and its coaches. With a membership of over 5,100 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at http://www.avca.org/.