AVCA Announces 2012 College Volleyball Showcase
Pac-12 Networks to feature Pac-12 Elites vs. Chinese Volleyball Team
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug 20, 2012) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce the schedule for the 2012 AVCA College Volleyball Showcase. The women's Jiangsu Volleyball Team from Nanjing, China, will be traveling to California to take on four of the top Pac-12 teams between Aug. 28 and Sept. 6.
All four Pac-12 teams competing in the showcase - USC, UCLA, STANFORD and CAL - begin the 2012 season ranked in the Top-20 in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, and the Jiangsu Volleyball Team stands atop of the Chinese volleyball scene after winning the 2012 National Volleyball Grand Prix Championship.
"With more NCAA Championships than any conference in the country, the Pac-12 has a proud tradition of volleyball success", said Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference. "We are thrilled to welcome the highly-regarded Jiangsu team to this international showcase of sport."
The new Pac-12 Networks will televise each of the four matches live from the respective campus as it kicks off its comprehensive coverage of women's volleyball, beginning with USC on Aug. 28, UCLA on Aug. 29, Stanford on Sept. 5 and California on Sept. 6. All broadcasts will begin at 7p.m. P.T.
In total this season, the Pac-12 Networks will feature 82 women's volleyball matchups highlighting the sport's top talent, both on a national and international level. This represents a 272 percent jump from the 22-game television appearances Pac-12 teams received in 2011.
"This international showcase of talent is an exciting part of our unprecedented coverage of women's volleyball," said Gary Stevenson, President Pac-12 Enterprises. "With these matches and our full conference schedule, fans will have an opportunity to see some of the very best volleyball players in the world every week on the Pac-12 Networks."
"The AVCA is thrilled to be part of the launch of volleyball on the Pac-12 Networks," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Matching four of our nation's best programs against an elite club team from volleyball-rich China will not only make for compelling competitions at each university, but will also underscore the potential for national and, eventually, international exposure through the Networks."
The Jiangsu team enters the international showcase with a team composed of experienced and decorated players. The setter and captain, 22-year old Hui LU and the opposite, 28-year old Qian LU are former national team members. Outside hitter, Tingli ZHAI is the top attacker in the China National League, and libero, Zhan CHEN was best defender at the FIVB Junior World Championship.
The Aug. 28 match pits Jiangsu against 2011 NCAA Championship semifinalist USC at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The Mick Haley-led Trojans should make a strong run to the NCAA championship this year despite losing 2011 AVCA National Player of the Year Alex Jupiter to graduation. Fellow AVCA First-Team All-American Natalie Hagglund will look to prove she is once again one of the top liberos in the country and All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honoree Katie Fuller looks to take that next leap to stardom.
The following day the Jiangsu team will play 2011 NCAA National Champion UCLA. Reigning AVCA National Coach of the Year Mike Sealy and the Bruins have the firepower to repeat as national champions thanks to AVCA First-Team All-American and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Rachel Kidder, Kelly Reeves (All-Pac-12 First-Team), Tabi Love (All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention) and Zoë Nightingale (All-NCAA Tournament Team, All-Pac-12 Freshman Team Honorable Mention).
Next the Jiangsu team will travel up the coast to compete against Stanford on Wednesday, Sept. 5, in Palo Alto. The Cardinal squad returns five starters and is anchored by AVCA All-America Honorable Mention and All-Pac-12 recipient Carly Wopat, junior Rachel Williams, and senior Karissa Cook.
The final match of the showcase pits Jiangsu against Cal on Thursday, Sept. 6, in Berkeley. Despite the loss of AVCA Second-Team All-American Tarah Murrey, Cal returns 2011 Pac-12 Honorable Mentions Kat Brown, Shannon Hawari, Correy Johnson and Robin Rostratter.
In addition to the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase matches, Jiangsu will play exhibition matches against Pepperdine on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. and against Arizona on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. These matches are part of the Pepperdine Asics Classic and will be played in Malibu, Calif.
AVCA sponsors assisting the Jiangsu women's team include Ultra Ankle and Nomax Sports.
AVCA College Volleyball Showcase Schedule (PT) - Matches shown live on Pac-12 Network
Jiangsu @ Southern California - 7p.m., Tuesday, August 28th
Jiangsu @ UCLA - 7p.m., Wednesday, August 29th
Jiangsu @ Stanford - 7p.m., Wednesday, September 5th
Jiangsu @ California - 7p.m.,Thursday, September 6th
Additional Exhibition Matches (PT) - Played in Malibu, California
Jiangsu @ Pepperdine - 7:30p.m.,Friday, August 31st
Jiangsu vs. Arizona - 11a.m., Saturday, September 1st
About Pac-12 Enterprises
Pac-12 Enterprises is the new content and multiplatform media company for the Pac-12 Conference, a leader in collegiate athletics that includes 12 of the most prestigious universities in the world and a nation-leading 451 NCAA titles across 27 sports. Headquartered in San Francisco, Pac-12 Enterprises was created in 2011 to develop and launch the Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12 Digital, and to control the distribution of the Pac-12 intellectual property rights in sports and other Conference initiatives. The Pac-12 Networks are full-time native HD linear networks available to video programming operators, dedicated solely to the Pac-12. It will consist of a national network and six regional feeds that will televise hundreds of live sporting events annually and provide 24/7 access to Pac-12 teams and universities. Pac-12 Digital encompasses the digital network, mobile, the university websites, social media and innovative digital initiatives across the company.
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. With a membership of over 5,700 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to coaching enhancement and promotion of volleyball. The AVCA College Volleyball Showcase is in its 19th year. Staged each year in the opening weeks of the collegiate season, the Showcase features the nation's best NCAA Division I programs. The 2012 Showcase marks the first time the event features a foreign team. Further information is available at www.avca.org.