By: Keith Raad – Asst. Sports Editor
The University of Dayton Flyers will head to Pennsylvania State University to play American University in round one of the NCAA Tournament.
UD plays the Eagles of AU at 5 p.m. Friday with the winner to face either Penn State or Siena College in the second round. Dayton has never faced any of the three schools in program history.
The two surviving teams face off 7:30 p.m. Saturday in University Park, Pa. The winner advances to the Louisville Regional Dec. 12-13.
The trip marks the program’s ninth appearance and first since 2012, and the fourth for head coach Tim Horsman overall. Horsman last took Dayton to the tournament in 2007, and is 2-4 in NCAA tournament matches.
Seniors Isolde Hannan and Rachel Jones are joined with juniors Alaina Turner, Janna Krafka, Jill Loiars and Jenna Jendryk as those with tournament experience.
The 2012 Flyers came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Pepperdine University in five sets in the first round. The team faced a tall task and lost against eventual runner-up University of Oregon in the second round.
Winners of the Patriot League regular season and tournament, American University won 26 matches. AU faced off against two of Dayton’s conference opponents, defeating George Mason 3-0 but falling to George Washington University in five sets at home.
Dayton defeated GW in the Atlantic 10 Conference Volleyball Championship in four sets.