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Araya/Markova Awarded "Best of the Rest" Bid to AVCA National Championship
Courtesy: ulmwarhawks.com
         
Release: April 22, 2014
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Portions of this release courtesy AVCA Media Relations

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The American Volleyball Coaches’ Association (AVCA) selection committee has extended a bid to Marcela Araya and Zuzana Markova for the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship.

We’ve been training for a return trip to nationals all season and we couldn’t be happier with the AVCA committee in their selection,” head sand volleyball coach David Fischer said.

The event will be held in Gulf Shores, Ala., where Markova and Araya were both members of a Warhawks squad that was invited to the team portion of the event in 2013.

“We’ll be about the closest team to Gulf Shores, so we’ll think of the tournament as a home event,” Fischer added.

Markova was named an All-American after her performance in the event last season.

As a tandem in 2014, Markova and Araya have amassed a 23-8 record this season, with half of those losses coming against nationally-ranked pairs from Florida State and Pepperdine.

“Zuzana and Marcela are a real treat to work with. Both are analytical, hard-working and fiercely competitive, yet they manage to smile and carry on conversations throughout a match. With Marcela’s defense and Zuzana’s block, they’re just a tough team to sideout against,” Fischer said.

The ULM tandem will participate in the “Best of the Rest” portion of the tournament.  They will be mixed into pool play with Long Beach State, the University of North Florida, Grand Canyon University, Jacksonville University, Saint Mary’s College of California, Loyola Marymount University, Tulane and UAB.

The Pairs Championship will begin with the ten Best of the Rest duos engaged in pool play on Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3. The top two finishers will be seeded into Sunday’s 16-team single elimination bracket. The six top pairs from the team championship schools and the top two from the four semi-finalists will also be entered into Sunday’s Pairs Championship bracket. There will be a play-in for the final two positions. First round matches in the Pairs Championship will start at 8 a.m. CT onSunday, May 4. The semi-finals, scheduled to start at noon, and the championship match, slated for 2 p.m., will be covered by CBS Sports Network.

Araya and Markova were seeded second in Pool A. They take on:  Delainey Aigner-Swesey/Bojana Tordorovic (LBSU), Taylor Nyquist/Sammie Strausbaugh (Jacksonville), Betsi Metter/Litara Keil (Loyola Marymount), and Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB).

The CBS Sports Network will air its coverage of the event in a two-hour long special, scheduled to air three times: Monday 5/26 7PM ET, Friday 5/30 7:30 PM ET and Monday 6/2 7PM ET.

For more information on the ULM Sand Volleyball program, follow @ULM_SandVB on Twitter. Additional updates can be found by following @AVCAVolleyball on Twitter.

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