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November 6, 2006

PSU Volleyball receives fifth straight post-season berth with ECAC selection

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team received its fifth consecutive post-season berth Monday with its selection to the ECAC Division III New England Tournament.

The Panthers (19-13) received the second seed in the eight-team tournament, and will host seventh-seeded Johnson & Wales University (23-14) Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at Foley Gymnasium. Plymouth State is playing in the ECAC Tournament for the fourth time in five years, in addition to its NCAA Tournament berth in 2004.

The other first-round matches on Wednesday has top-seeded Brandeis (19-17) hosting eight-seeded Framingham State (16-10), third-seeded Colby-Sawyer (19-13) hosting sixth-seeded Western New England (18-12), and fourth-seeded Keene State (24-13) hosting fifth-seeded Rivier (24-7). The semifinals and championship matches are all this Saturday, Nov. 11, at a site to be determined, most likely at the highest remaining seed after Wednesday's first round.

Plymouth State, led by ninth-year head coach Moira Long, received the ECAC berth after finishing in a tie for third with Keene State in the Little East Conference regular season, both with 4-3 conference records, and falling to eventual runner-up Rhode Island College in the LEC Tournament semifinals, 3-1.

PSU first qualified for the ECAC Tournament in 2002, when the seventh-seeded Panthers were defeated in the first round by second-seeded Coast Guard. Plymouth State won its first post-season match in 2003 when the third-seeded Panthers knocked off sixth-seeded Emmanuel before losing in the semifinals to second-seeded Brandeis, 3-1. PSU defeated Roger Williams in the first round last season, 3-0, before losing to Wellesley in the semifinals, 3-0.

Johnson & Wales was the fourth seed in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament, and won its first round match over fifth-seeded Simmons College, 3-0, before falling to top-seeded Emmanuel College in the semifinals, 3-2.

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