Head coach: Ryan McGuyre (3rd year at BU: 62-31)
Record: 23-6 (13-3 Big 12, 2nd)
NCAA appearances: Six, most recently 2016
NCAA tournament record: 4-5
Final RPI: 12
Breakdown: It’s been a season of firsts for the Bears, who are seeded in the NCAA tourney for the first time (at 12th) and are hosting for the first time in program history. … Freshman outside hitter Yossiana Pressley has steadily elevated her play as the season has progressed, and was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year after leading the conference in kills per set (4.37). … Senior outside hitter Katie Staiger ranks second all-time in BU history with 1,698 career kills. … With a first-round win over Miami, Baylor would match the program’s most wins (24) since 2009. … Defensively, senior libero Jana Brusek is one of the more reliable back-row passers the program has ever had, and ranks second all-time with 1,596 career digs.
If a team is a family – and Baylor volleyball’s Ryan McGuyre would contend that it is – then the transfers must be the adopted children, right…
MIAMI (OHIO) REDHAWKS
Head coach: Carolyn Condit (34th year: 609-455)
Record: 22-8 (13-3 MAC, tied for first)
NCAA appearances: 10, most recently 2016
NCAA tournament record: 1-8
Final RPI: 63
Breakdown: Few teams in the NCAA field will be any more balanced than the Redhawks, who have five players averaging between 2.03 and 2.66 kills per set. … Junior right-side hitter Katie Tomasic leads the team with 311 kills on the year. … Senior libero Maeve McDonald doesn’t let many balls slip through the cracks, as her 660 digs on the season rank seventh nationally. … Miami claimed an automatic berth into the NCAA field by winning the MAC tournament. … This will mark the second all-time meeting between Baylor and Miami. In the only other meeting, the Bears outlasted the Redhawks in a five-set battle at a University of Arkansas tournament in 1998.
Head coach: Jesse Mahoney (2nd year: 36-25)
Record: 22-9 (12-8 Pac-12, 5th)
NCAA appearances: 19, most recently 2014
NCAA tournament record: 11-18
Final RPI: 24
Breakdown: This has been a breakthrough year for the Buffs in their second season under Mahoney. Their 12-8 Pac-12 record was their best mark since joining that league in 2011 and their most conference wins since 2006, when they were still in the Big 12. … Colorado owns five wins over Top 25 teams this year: over No. 11 Washington, No. 12 Oregon (twice), No. 19 USC and No. 22 Colorado State. … Colorado’s top player is 6-foot-1 junior outside hitter Alexa Smith, a first-team all-conference performer who has eight 20-kill matches to her credit. … Freshman setter Brynna DeLuzio, a member of the Pac-12’s All-Freshman Team, averages 11.07 assists per set and the team has hit at a .249 clip under her direction.
JAMES MADISON DUKES
Head coach: Lauren Steinbrecher (8th year: 151-90)
Record: 23-5 (11-5 in CAA, 3rd)
NCAA appearances: 4, most recently 2016
NCAA tournament record: 0-3
Final RPI: 48
Breakdown: The Dukes proved to be something of a bid robber by winning the Colonial Athletic Association tournament and snagging an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. They upset top-seeded College of Charleston with a 3-0 win in the final, snapping Charleston’s 15-match winning streak. … Interestingly, James Madison has never faced any of the other three teams in the Waco Regional. … Senior libero Taylor Austin won the CAA’s Most Outstanding Performer Award. She has accumulated 520 digs on the year and ranks 11th in the NCAA in digs per set (5.71).