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Both Washington and Washington State earn invites to NCAA volleyball tournament

The Huskies will be going on the road and the Cougars staying at home to open the action Friday.

Both Washington and Washington State were invited to the NCAA tournament in volleyball Sunday, with the Huskies going on the road and the Cougars staying at home to open the action.

For the Huskies (18-12, 10-10 Pac-12), it will be a road trip to Omaha, Neb., to meet Saint Mary’s (19-9) out of the West Conference Conference at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time Friday. Creighton (28-4) is the host for the first two rounds, and the Bluejays meet South Dakota (21-9).

It is the 17th consecutive season Washingon has made an appearance in the NCAA tournament, but this will be the first time the Huskies will be away from home for the first round since 2011.

“Starting a little different than we have in years past, hitting the road, but it always feels a little more like the tournament when you’re on the road,” said UW coach Keegan Cook, who is a graduate of Saint Mary’s and coached there before coming to Seattle.

“The WCC is really strong this year,” said Cook. “Certainly a lot of respect for the Gaels.”

The Cougars (21-9, 12-8), making their third consecutive NCAA appearance, will be the tournament’s No. 16 seed. WSU will face Big Sky champion Northern Arizona (26-8) at 7 p.m. Friday. Tennessee (25-5) and Colorado State (23-7) are the other teams playing in Pullman.

Eight Pac-12 teams made the tournament, the most of any conference. Stanford (28-1), after a 20-0 record in the Pac-12, is the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed. The other Pac-12 teams are USC (21-10), Oregon (20-10), Arizona (22-10), Colorado (18-13) and Utah (18-13).

WHL HOCKEY

• A big first period powered the Everett Silvertips to a 5-3 victory over host Portland. Everett (19-7-1-0) scored three first-period goals and then took a 4-1 lead early in the second period to keep the Winterhawks (14-9-0-2) under control. Martin Fasko-Rudas had the first two goals for Everett, less than 8½ minutes into the contest. Luke Ormsby, Reece Vitelli and Connor Dewar had the other goals for Everett.

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