Notre Dame names past national champion new volleyball coach

Notre Dame has hired a past national championship winning coach to lead their volleyball program

The following release is courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Salima Rockwell (Davidson), a four-time national champion coach and three-time All-American, has been named the seventh head coach in Notre Dame volleyball history, University vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick announced today.

“We’re excited to have Salima join the Notre Dame family,” said University vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “Salima has succeeded at every level – as a student-athlete, professional athlete, collegiate coach and broadcaster – and we are excited to see what her team accomplishes. Her drive to be great and appreciation for the unique attributes of Notre Dame set Salima apart during our search. We can’t wait to have her and her family join us on campus”

“I am thrilled for this opportunity to lead the Irish and I’d like to thank (University President) Fr. Jenkins, Jack (Swarbrick) and (Senior Deputy Athletics Director) Missy (Conboy) for all of their work during this process,” said Rockwell. “From the first phone call to the last moments on campus this week, it is clear that Notre Dame is committed to their volleyball program, and to the investment of their student-athletes as a whole. I am beyond excited to join such a forward-thinking University with great people whose vision aligns perfectly with my own.”

“Notre Dame Volleyball is a program that is right on the edge of greatness, and it is my mission to provide the student-athletes with the high-level and well-rounded opportunities they would expect when they chose Notre Dame,” Rockwell continued. “Our student-athletes will graduate with an incredible college experience, an education from one of the top schools in the World and will achieve a high-level of improvement and success on the court. Notre Dame Volleyball has only scratched the surface of what it can be and I cannot wait to get started with the team to build our legacy.”

Rockwell spent nine years coaching at her alma mater, Penn State University, holding titles of associate head coach, assistant coach and director of operations over two different stints in Happy Valley (2006-2009 and 2015-17). Rockwell’s primary duties included working with the setters and the offense, recruiting and match preparation.

As a student-athlete, Rockwell was a three-time All-American setter for the Nittany Lions from 1991-94. She was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team in 1993, when she helped lead Penn State to a NCAA Championship runner-up finish, and then again in 1994, after Penn State made a second consecutive appearance in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.

Rockwell also earned All-Big Ten accolades four times, including three First Team selections. She helped the Nittany Lions capture Big Ten championships in 1992 and 1993.

Rockwell’s name is peppered throughout the legendary Penn State record books – ranking sixth all-time on the program’s career assists list (5,455) and eighth on the career digs chart (1,278). She is an inductee into the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame.

Rockwell was also a member of the U.S. National Team from 1995-99. She captained the team in 1997 and 1998, serving as the starting setter and earning the Coaches Award, MVP and the Team Award in each of those seasons.

Between her two coaching tours at Penn State, Rockwell spent five seasons (2009-2013) at the University of Texas. While in Austin, she helped lead the Longhorns to the 2012 National Championship title, its first in almost 25 years.

Before returning to Penn State for the first time, Rockwell spent the 2005 season as an assistant coach at Oregon State under legendary head coach Terry Liskevych.

A native of Pittsburgh, Rockwell began her coaching career as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh from 2001-03, where she worked primarily with the Panthers setters and was also the lead recruiter.

Rockwell graduated from Penn State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Speech Communications. She is married to Jeff Rockwell and the couple has two sons, Logan and Rylan. For the past three years, Rockwell has served as a color commentator for ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network and CBS Sports.

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Wisconsin volleyball set another record in their championship match

The Badgers set a different kind of record in their national championship match

Wisconsin volleyball set all sorts of firsts in their championship match against Nebraska, the most important of which being their first national championship in program history.

With two passionate Big Ten fan bases meeting at the summit, viewers were locked in as a champion was crowned. Wisconsin and Nebraska drew 1.19 million viewers in their five-set thriller on Saturday. That number has since been confirmed to be a collegiate volleyball record for viewers.

Nebraska area news anchor Bill Schammert of 1011 NOW provided some context to the numbers. Wisconsin’s national championship match against Stanford drew less than half of that total, while Stanford’s championship matchup with Nebraska did not reach 1 million viewers in 2018.

WATCH: Paul Chryst congratulates Wisconsin volleyball

The Badgers took home their first national championship

In his press conference earlier this week, Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst opened with a congratulatory message for Badger volleyball. Wisconsin volleyball took home their first national championship in program history this past weekend, as they defeated Nebraska in a five-set thriller.

After back-to-back years of heartbreak for a team that reached two consecutive Final Fours only to fall short, the Badger seniors put together one last magical ride. This time, it ended happily.

Chryst spoke on how impressed he has been watching Wisconsin volleyball’s commitment and work ethic. Here is Wisconsin’s football coach on the Badgers taking home a national championship:

How to watch Wisconsin volleyball in the Final Four

The Badgers are headed to the Final Four

After advancing through the Madison regional, Wisconsin volleyball is in their third straight Final Four. The Badgers have rolled through their competition, as they have yet to drop a set in the NCAA Tournament. The UW Field House regional culminated with a 3-0 Badgers sweep of Minnesota.

Wisconsin now travels to Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio to take on Louisville. The Final Four match is set for December 16, with a start time of 6 p.m. CT. The matchup will be available on ESPN, and the local radio call will be on WIBA 1310 AM.

If the Badgers are able to beat undefeated Louisville, Wisconsin will play in the NCAA Championship match on December 18 at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Texas Volleyball: No. 2 Longhorns beat No. 15 Washington in five sets

No. 2 Texas is on to the Elite Eight after a reverse sweep of No. 15 Washington.

After losing in the national championship game a season ago, Texas volleyball has revenge on their minds. The Longhorns took down Sacred Heart and Rice in sweeps during the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

That set up a Sweet 16 match up against No. 15 Washington.

The Huskies came out of the gates on fire. They took a commanding lead in the first set with an 11-0 run to go up 16-7. Washington would not look back and closed the first set 25-19.

Texas looked to have regrouped in the second set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead but Washington stormed back into it. A 6-1 run in the middle of the set helped Washington take set two. Jerritt Elliot’s squad had no answer for what Washington was doing early.

Just one set from elimination, Texas and Gregory gym woke up.

Set number three went back and forth before Texas grabbed all the momentum late, winning 25-22. The crowd erupted as Texas broke a 19-19 tie. Washington would not have another lead for the rest of the night.

Logan Eggleston and Skylar Fields found their rhythm for the Longhorns as Texas dominated set four 25-9.

Entering set five, the crowd was rocking and Texas hit their stride. A few Washington service errors gave Texas the lead early. Up 14-9, a Skylar Fields kill completed the reverse sweep, sending Texas to the Elite Eight.

Texas will look to clinch their spot in the Final Four against No. 10 Nebraska on Saturday night. It is a rematch of last season’s Elite Eight matchup where the Longhorns beat the Huskers in four sets.

How to watch Wisconsin volleyball’s NCAA Regional Semifinal vs. UCLA

The Badgers continue their NCAA Tournament journey on Thursday

The No. 4 overall seeded Wisconsin Badgers rolled into the NCAA Regional Semifinal with back-to-back sweeps to begin their NCAA Tournament journey.

Wisconsin gets to stay home at the UW Field House on Thursday when the UCLA Bruins come to town. The Bruins won their first two matches at home before traveling to Madison.

Wisconsin and UCLA are set to do battle at 4 p.m. CT, and ESPNU will have the action live from the UW Field House.

If the Badgers come out on top, the Regional Final is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. CT against the winner of No. 5 Baylor and No. 12 Minnesota.

Wisconsin volleyball advances to the Sweet 16 with a 3-0 win over FGCU

The Badgers are headed to the Sweet 16

Behind another packed UW Field House crowd, Wisconsin rolled over Florida Gulf Coast in.a 3-0 sweep of the Eagles.

The Badgers were unbelievably efficient as they hit .455 on the evening to advance to the Sweet 16. Wisconsin has now yet to drop a set through two NCAA Tournament matches.

It was a balanced Wisconsin effort as super senior Grace Loberg led the way by hitting .542 on the evening. Lauren Barnes was fantastic defensively, as the libero recorded 18 digs.

The No. 4 Badgers get the privilege of staying home for their Sweet 16 matchup as they await the winner of No. 13 UCLA and UCF in a second round matchup.

How to watch Wisconsin volleyball’s NCAA Tournament opener

The Badgers begin their NCAA Tournament journey against Colgate

Wisconsin volleyball will once again host the first portion of the NCAA Tournament as the Badgers secured a top four seed in the Big Dance.

The Badgers will face Colgate in the first round, with the start time set for 7 p.m. CT at the UW Field House on Friday. Friday’s UW Field House slate begins with Texas Tech vs. FGCU at 4:30 p.m. CT.

The first two Badger matches (assuming they can take care of Colgate) will be streamed on ESPN+. If Wisconsin can beat the Patriot League champs, the Badgers will face the winner of Texas Tech vs. FGCU at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Wisconsin volleyball gets the No. 4 overall seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament

The Badgers earn a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament

Fresh off of a Big Ten championship, Wisconsin volleyball earned a top-four seed in Sunday’s NCAA Tournament bracket reveal.

With the No. 4 overall seed, Wisconsin will host the first round, second round, Sweet Sixteen, and Elite Eight matchups at the UW Field House.

In the first round, the Badgers will be matched up against the Colgate Raiders. Colgate went 13-3 in the Patriot League to take home a conference championship.

If all goes according to plan, Wisconsin can advance to the Final Four while playing every match in the comforts of their home gym.

Here is a look at the complete 2021 bracket:

Texas Volleyball: Longhorns clinch No. 2 national seed

Texas volleyball set for another run at a national championship.

Jerritt Elliott has turned Texas volleyball into a national powerhouse during his 20-plus years as the head coach.

The Longhorns have reached nine Final Four appearances and five national championship games since Elliott’s arrival. The Horns won the national championship in 2012.

The 2021 Longhorns have continued the dynasty. Texas is 24-1 and won their fifth straight Big 12 conference title this season.

On Sunday night, the NCAA announced Texas as the No. 2 national seed for the NCAA tournament.

If they can keep winning, Texas will have the luxury of not having to play outside of Gregory Gym until the Final Four. Texas will host Sacred Heart, Rice, and San Diego this weekend for the first two rounds of the tournament.

The bracket sets up a potential rematch of last season’s national championship in the Elite Eight between No. 2 Texas and No. 7 Kentucky.

Texas won 15 of 16 matches against teams who qualified for the 2021 NCAA tournament. The only loss was to No. 5 Baylor in Waco.

View the full bracket here:

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