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PSU Volleyball to make second straight ECAC Tourney appearance

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - For the second straight year, Plymouth State University's women's volleyball team will participate in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III post-season tournament.

The Panthers received the third seed in the six-team tourney Monday, and will meet sixth-seeded Emmanuel College on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the first round. Top-seeded MIT will host the entire tourney, including two first-round matches Friday night and the semifinals and championship match on Saturday.

The rest of the ECAC Tournament field includes top-seeded MIT, #2 Brandeis, #4 Wellesley, and #5 Coast Guard. Coast Guard captured last year's title, which was the ECAC North Championship and was hosted by Plymouth State.

PSU, led by sixth-year head coach Moira Long, will take a 28-7 record into the weekend's activities. The Panthers, who are ranked seventh in the latest New England poll, established a school record for wins in a season. PSU also went 6-1 in Little East Conference matches and advanced to the LEC Championship match before falling to five-time defending champion Western Connecticut. Last year's ECAC berth was the first post-season bid for Plymouth State since volleyball became a varsity sport in 1996.

Emmanuel will take a 28-4 overall record into this weekend's tournament. The Saints advanced to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Championship match, where they were defeated by Rivier College, 3-1. Emmanuel finished the 2002 season with a 19-12 overall record.

Plymouth State was the seventh seed in last year's ECAC North Tournament, and was defeated in the opening round in three games (30-17, 32-30, 30-21) by eventual champion Coast Guard.

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