LINCOLN — Nebraska's new home for volleyball will get an early chance to make a national impression.
The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee announced Monday it has selected Lincoln as a regional host site for the 2013 NCAA tournament. The matches will be played in December at the newly remodeled Devaney Center, which will begin hosting Husker volleyball home matches this fall after the men's and women's basketball teams move into Lincoln's new Pinnacle Bank Arena.
“Nebraska and the city of Lincoln create a wonderful experience for our student-athletes and fans,” said Diane Turnham, NCAA Women's Volleyball Committee chairwoman. “Volleyball fans are drawn to this area, and the committee has always felt Nebraska has an electric atmosphere with capacity crowds, which makes for a great volleyball environment.”
Southern California, Kentucky and Illinois also will host regional matches, with the final four set to be played Dec. 19 through 21 at KeyArena in Seattle.
NU previously hosted NCAA tournament matches at the Devaney Center in 1986 and 1991, compiling a 5-1 record. Nebraska also has been the host school for three NCAA regionals (2005, 2009, 2012) and two final fours (2006, 2008) played at the Century≠Link Center in Omaha, including last year's regional where the Huskers lost to eventual national runner-up Oregon in the regional final.
The Devaney Center is undergoing a $20 million renovation that includes renovated locker rooms, meeting rooms and concourses, new video scoreboards and reconfigured seating that will hold 7,000 fans for most matches.
Earlier this month, Nebraska coach John Cook said some interior renovations already have begun, with significant work on the Devaney Center's south side to begin in March when the basketball season concludes.
“The wrecking ball is warming up,” Cook said.
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