PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team was named the top seed in this week's Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament Monday, and will begin defense of its title by hosting a first-round match Wednesday evening at Foley Gymnasium.
The defending champion Panthers (30-5 overall) will make their eighth straight post-season appearance in Wednesday's first-round contest at Foley Gymnasium against eighth-seeded Emmanuel College, 18-13, at 6:00 p.m. Plymouth State is competing in the ECAC Tournament for the seventh time in eight years, in addition to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2004.
The other first round matches include #7-seed Colby-Sawyer (19-13) at #2-seed Brandeis (17-13); #6-seed Johnson & Wales (22-14) at #3-seed Coast Guard (25-5); and #5-seed Endicott (15-14) at #4-seed Western New England College (26-9). The semifinals and championship match are all slated for Saturday, Nov. 14, at the site of the highest remaining seed after Wednesday's opening round.
Wednesday's match will be the first meeting of the season between Plymouth State and Emmanuel, which is a member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
Plymouth State, led by 12th-year head coach Moira Long, received the ECAC berth after posting a school-record 30 victories, placing second in the Little East Conference regular season and finishing runner-up to UMass Boston in the LEC Tournament. Emmanuel was the third seed in the GNAC Tournament and lost in the semifinal round to second-seeded Johnson & Wales.
PSU won last year's ECAC title as the second seed, upsetting top-seeded Colby-Sawyer in the championship match. The Panthers were defeated in the semifinals in both 2003 and 2005 and were first-round victims in 2002, 2006 and 2007.
2009 ECAC Division III New England Women's Volleyball Championship
First Round - Wednesday, November 11
No. 8 Emmanuel (17-12) at No. 1 Plymouth State (30-5), 6:00 p.m.
No. 7 Colby-Sawyer (19-13) at No. 2 Brandeis (18-16), 7:00 p.m.
No. 6 Johnson & Wales (23-15) at No. 3 Coast Guard (25-5), 7:00 p.m.
No. 5 Endicott (19-16) at No. 4 WNEC (26-9), 7:00 p.m.
Semifinals - Saturday, November 14 at (highest remaining seed)
No. 1/No. 8 winner vs. No. 4/No. 5 winner, TBA
No. 2/No. 7 winner vs. No. 3/No. 6 winner, TBA
Championship - Saturday, November 14 at (highest remaining seed)
Two Semifinal Winners, TBA
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