OMAHA, Neb. -- The Texas Longhorns women's volleyball team is in familiar territory: back in the NCAA championship match. Meanwhile, their opponent in Saturday's final, the Louisville Cardinals, will be there for the first time, as will the ACC as a league.

Texas, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, beat the San Diego Toreros 3-1 on Thursday, which was followed by the Cardinals' 3-2 win over their conference rival, the Pittsburgh Panthers. This will be the Longhorns' eighth appearance in the NCAA title match, which ties them with UCLA for the fourth most. Only Stanford (17), Penn State (10) and Nebraska (10) have played for the NCAA championship more. Texas won NCAA titles in 2012 and 1988 and took the final AIAW championship in 1981.


The ACC had only one representative at volleyball's final four before the back-to-back appearances by Louisville and Pitt the past two seasons. That was Florida State, which lost in the national semifinals in 2011. Both the Cardinals and Panthers lost in the semifinals last year.

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Not only is this ACC breakthrough historically notable for volleyball, but so is Louisville coach Dani Busboom Kelly's appearance in the final. She is just the second woman head coach in the NCAA championship match, following the Florida Gators' Mary Wise in 2003 and 2017.

The Cardinals and Longhorns did not meet in the regular season.

The Longhorns have knocked on the door several times since their last NCAA title a decade ago, including their final loss two seasons ago to Kentucky here in Omaha. But they hope to push through that door this year.

Saturday's final will be at 7:00 PM on ESPN2.

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