UC Santa Cruz Named Top Seed of 2008 Molten Championship


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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and USA Volleyball (USAV), in conjunction with Molten U.S.A., Inc., are pleased to announce the seeds and pairings for the 2008 Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship.

The 2008 event is slated for April 11-12 at Blake Arena on the campus of Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. Individual match tickets are $2 for students and $5 for adults. Springfield College students will be admitted for free.

The tournament boasts four of the top five teams according to the April 1 CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll.

University of California, Santa Cruz (14-10), the Midwest-West Region at-large representative, is seeded first and will face North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) Tournament champion and fourth-seed Vassar College (25-6) at 8 p.m. ET on April 11 in the second semifinal match. Host Springfield (18-6), a four-time winner of the event, was selected as the second-seed for the Molten championship and will challenge four-time defending champion and third-seed Juniata (10-12) at 5 p.m. ET on April 11. Juniata won the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) after capturing the conference's NCAA Division III regular season championship on tiebreakers. The consolation match will be played at 5 p.m. ET on April 12, followed by the championship at 8 p.m. ET.

Seeding criteria includes consideration of head-to-head competition, results against common opponents, results versus teams in the field and cumulative season poll rankings.

Juniata has won five overall Molten championships including the last four in a row. Springfield has won four titles, including a three-year run between 2001-2003. UC Santa Cruz is making its third appearance in the tournament with a best-ever second-place finish in 2006. Vassar has earned its second berth into the Molten with a fourth-place finish in 2001, which was also played at Springfield College.

The Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship selection committee consists of Doug Beal (USA Volleyball chief executive officer); Kathy DeBoer (AVCA executive director); Ivan Marquez (EIVA commissioner); Bob Newcomb (UC Irvine/at-large representative); Stuart Robinson (SUNY New Paltz athletic director/NECVA representative), Dan Harris (Milwaukee School of Engineering athletic director/Midwest Region representative), John Speraw (UC Irvine men's head coach/AVCA Board of Directors representative) and Jerry Matacotta (NECVA representative).

Now in its 12th year, the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship was formed due to a need for a culminating event for NCAA Division III men's volleyball. While the NCAA sponsors a national championship for men's volleyball, programs from all three divisions compete for just four berths in the yearly tournament. In the 36-year history of the men's tournament, no Division III program has earned a berth or been selected to participate in the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship.

Molten U.S.A., Inc. is the "Official Volleyball of the Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship." Sports Imports is the "Official Net System Supplier of the Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship." Mizuno USA is the "Official Apparel & Shoe Sponsor of the Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship."

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