The University of Kentucky volleyball team faces a familiar situation in unfamiliar territory on Friday night.
The Wildcats make their 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 18th overall, but they’ll be far from home. The 24th-ranked Cats open postseason play in Seattle, Wash., against Colorado State at 8 p.m. EST.
The University of Washington, the host for the first-round doubleheader, goes against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 10:30 p.m. Friday’s two winners collide Saturday at 10 p.m. for a berth in the Sweet 16.
Kentucky (22-7) and Colorado State (21-8) have met only once previously, with the Rams winning in five sets in 1987. CSU qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd straight season with an at-large bid from the Mountain West Conference.
Washington (26-4) earned the automatic bid from the Pacific-12 after winning the regular-season championship. UK is 1-1 all-time against the Huskies, with the last meeting, a 3-1 win in 1988. The Huskies earned the No. 8 seed in the tournament, and are ranked No. 7 in the coaches poll.
Kentucky has never faced Texas A&M Corpus-Christi (24-7). The Islanders went 16-0 in the Southland Conference.
UK is led by junior Ashley Dusek, who was named Southeastern Conference Libero of the Year for the second season in a row, and Leah Edmond, a Paul Laurence Dunbar graduate who was selected SEC Freshman of the Year. Junior Kaz Brown and sophomore Olivia Dailey also received All-SEC recognition.
Murray, WKU also in tourney
Two other teams from Kentucky also begin NCAA play Friday.
Murray State (23-8) visits No. 10 overall seed and eighth-ranked UCLA (24-6) at 11 p.m. EST.
No. 20 Western Kentucky (30-2) takes on Boise State (25-6) at 7:30 p.m. EST at Stanford, Calif.
Kentucky vs. Colorado State
What: NCAA Tournament first-round match
When: 8 p.m. EST
Where: Seattle, Wash.
Live video broadcast: GoHuskies.com