Oregon and Texas have made it through the women's college volleyball tournament unscathed and will face off against each other for the title of national champion on Saturday night.
No. 3 Texas outlasted Michigan on one side of the bracket in a five-set thriller that featured back-and-forth attacks from both teams and a ton of talent on both sides of the court. Bailey Webster had 18 kills, and Haley Eckerman had 16 for the Longhorns, who ended an improbable run to national semifinals by the Wolverines.
No. 5 Oregon's journey was much more intriguing, as the Ducks found a way to knock off No. 1 Penn State on Thursday night by a 3-1 score in a dominating performance, considering the stakes at hand.
It will mark the first-ever appearance for the Ducks in the national championship game and will help bolster the University's already sparkling reputation as a national powerhouse in multiple sports.
Here's a look at the date, time and location for this showdown, including a preview for Saturday night's championship game between the Horns and the Ducks.
When: Saturday, December 15 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Ky.
Photo gallery of NCAA Division I Women's National Championship semifinals with Oregon and Texas advancing. (Photo... fb.me/1oti2Uiny— USA Volleyball (@USA_Volleyball) December 14, 2012
The Ducks may be a five seed, but they have one-seed potential.
According to the Associated Press report following the game, this is no ordinary volleyball team—the Ducks are using quickness and pace, much like their football counterparts.
The Ducks entered the game leading the nation in team kills per set (15.97) and team assists (14.91). Most of that was due to Oregon's mix of quickness and improvisation that won all but two sets in the tournament.
Texas is no slouch, either.
The Longhorns are a perennial powerhouse in the volleyball scene, gathering top recruits like Webster and Eckerman while head coach Jerritt Elliott has managed to lead the Horns to four Final Four appearances in the last five seasons.
While Texas will be looking for its first title since 1981, Oregon will look to celebrate its first in school history. Be sure to tune into ESPN2 for all of the action leading up to this matchup on Saturday night, and check back with Bleacher Report for all things volleyball as the new 2012 champion is crowned.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.
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