The Cal Poly women’s volleyball team, which finished third in the Big West Conference with a 10-4 conference record and 19-6 overall, was excluded from the 2005 NCAA Volleyball Tournament Sunday.
This year, only Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara will represent the Big West Conference, a shock coming in the wake of six tournament selections in the last two years, consecutively.
Both Long Beach State (25-6) and UC Santa Barbara (21-8) posted 12-2 conference records this year, but it was Long Beach State that received the automatic qualifier by virtue of a tiebreaker based on the number of games won during the conference season, according to a Cal Poly press release.
The selection marks Long Beach State’s 19th straight NCAA appearance.
The selection marks the first year in conference history that only two teams have been chosen from the Big West Conference.
In the past, Cal Poly has made 12 postseason appearances, garnering a 10-12 record overall. It’s last appearance come in 2002, where the Mustangs fell in three games to Pepperdine in the West Regional.
Six Pacific-10 Conference teams are in this year’s field while five from the West Coast Conference qualified, including Saint Mary’s. Mustang head coach Jon Stevenson guided Saint Mary’s to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 before becoming Cal Poly’s head coach last February.
Cal Poly played only one match against a Pac-10 school this season, falling to Southern California in three games on Aug. 27.
The Mustangs were 1-1 against West Coast Conference schools, defeating Portland in three games on Sept. 9 and falling in three games to San Francisco on Sept. 13.