Panthers co-regular season champs; third seed for tournament
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team has captured its fourth Little East Conference (LEC) regular season title and will host the University of Southern Maine in the opening round of the LEC Tournament at Foley Gymnasium Tuesday (Nov. 5) at 6:00 p.m.
The Panthers (30-4) split the regular season title with WestConn and Eastern Connecticut State after all three finished with identical 6-2 conference marks. WestConn earned the top seed for the tournament following the application of the league's tie-breaker system, while Eastern Connecticut was granted the second seed by virtue of the Warriors' head-to-head win over the Panthers on Saturday. PSU was awarded the third seed and will host the Huskies in a first round game. Plymouth State was also regular season co-champions in 2004, 2005 and 2011.
PSU capped the regular season with a win over St. Joseph's of Long Island on Saturday to reach the 30-win threshold for just the second time in program history. The 2009 squad holds the record with 32 victories following a 32-6 season. To set a new school record the Panthers will need to win the LEC Tournament – a feat certainly within reach following a dynamic regular season.
Southern Maine enters the tournament as the sixth seed after posting a 4-4 record in LEC play. The two teams met on Oct. 2 in Gorham, where the Panthers earned a hard-fought 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 win. They have met in the postseason four times with Plymouth State sporting a perfect 4-0 record, most recently matching up in the first round in 2013.
Plymouth State has qualified for the LEC Tournament every year since the program's inaugural season in 1996 and has made six finals appearances, most recently in 2016. PSU sports a 19-22 overall record in tournament play and is in search of its second tournament title (2004).
The Huskies are in pursuit of the program's first championship and are making a 13th appearance in the tournament. USM has gone 4-11 in tournament action and is looking for its first postseason win since 2003.
The winner of tomorrow's match will advance to face second-seeded Eastern Connecticut on Thursday (Nov. 7).
The full LEC Tournament bracket can be found on the conference's website, www.littleeast.com.
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