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Plymouth State to compete in Little East Conference Tournaments

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - It's "Conference Tournament Week" for schools in the Little East Conference, and Plymouth State University will be right in the thick of three of the four fall post-season tourneys.

The three Panther teams still alive, volleyball and men's and women's soccer, will be trying to do what the PSU women's tennis team accomplished two weeks ago - win the Little East Conference Championship. The volleyball and men's soccer teams will begin their quests for an LEC title with home games, while the women's soccer squad will hit the road for its first play-off contest.

PSU is the third seed in the LEC VOLLEYBALL Tournament, and will host sixth-seeded UMass Dartmouth Tuesday at Foley Gymnasium (6:00 p.m.) in a first-round contest. The Panthers, 18-12 overall, finished in a three-way tie for third place with Keene State and Western Connecticut, all three schools at 4-3, but PSU won the tiebreaker with wins over the other two. PSU also defeated the UMD two weeks ago, 3-1. The Corsairs (11-13 overall, 2-5 LEC) won the tiebreaker over UMass Boston for the final playoff spot. Fourth-seeded Keene State will host fifth-seeded Western Conn. in Tuesday's other first-round match, while the top two seeds, Eastern Conn. and Rhode Island College, receive a first-round bye. The semifinals and championship matches are Friday and Saturday at ECSU in Willimantic, Conn.

The PSU WOMEN'S SOCCER squad edged UMass Dartmouth in the regular season finale, 2-1, to finish in a tie for fourth place with Rhode Island College and Southern Maine, all at 3-4-0 in conference play. The Panthers end up as the sixth seed after the tiebreaker rules are applied, and will travel to third-seeded Keene State (12-7 overall, 5-2 LEC) on Tuesday for a first-round game (6:00 p.m.) PSU, 7-7-2 overall, is riding a three-game winning streak entering the tournament. The Panthers lost in overtime on their last two visits to Keene, in last year's LEC Tournament (1-0) and this fall's regular season contest (3-2). Fourth-seeded RIC will host fifth-seeded Southern Maine in Tuesday's other first-round match, while the top two seeds, Western Conn. and Eastern Conn., receive a first-round bye. The semifinals and championship matches are Friday and Saturday at WCSU in Danbury, Conn.

The Panther MEN'S SOCCER team has clinched a semifinal game at Panther Field, which will take place on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was moved back a day due to LEC make-up games. PSU's opponent depends on the results of Monday night's make-up game between UMass Boston and Keene State. Thursday's two semifinal winners will meet for the championship on Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

The Panther FIELD HOCKEY team finished in a three-way tie for seventh place in the LEC with a 5-6 mark, but Fitchburg State and Salem State earned playoff berths ahead of Plymouth State due to tiebreaker policies. PSU came up short in its attempt for its seventh straight post-season berth, and finished the season at 7-9 overall.

The LEC tournament champion in all four sports receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.

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