NCAA puts Gauchos against USC in national semifinal

UCSB will have to go through USC again to play for a NCAA title.

The NCAA men’s volleyball committee announced Sunday the bracket for the 2011 National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship at Penn State, and the Gauchos were paired with the Trojans in Thursday’s semifinals.

Penn State and Ohio State meet in the other semifinal at Recreation Hall.

The UCSB-USC match will be shown live at 4 p.m. on ESPN2 and Penn State and Ohio State follows on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. PST.

The national championship match will be broadcast live at 4 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 7 on ESPN2 and

UCSB (17-14) is the hottest team in the country. On Saturday, the Gauchos handed top-ranked USC its only loss at the Galen Center to win the MPSF Tournament championship and advance to their first Final Four since 1988. They also beat BYU in Provo, Utah and Long Beach State in the tournament.

By winning the MPSF Tournament, UCSB was an automatic qualifier. USC (23-3), the regular-season champion, received the at-large berth.

Ohio State University (24-6) is the winner of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association and Penn State (24-6) is champion of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.