Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados head to the 2009 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference volleyball tournament for the second year in a row, having achieved this goal in each of the two seasons they have been eligible for postseason play.
Coach Brenda Skeffington’s squad will face a familiar foe as the eighth-seeded Tornados will take on the top-seeded Wingate Bulldogs in the opening match of the tournament. Last season the Bulldogs ended the Tornados season with a 3-1 victory in the SAC quarterfinals, despite then-juniors Brooke Seaman and Chelsey Trojan each with nine kills and Jami Perry dishing out 21 assists and picking up 11 digs.
This season, the Tornados remain focused and ready to make a splash in the tournament as they ride a three-game winning streak, including victories over SAC opponents Tusculum and Mars Hill to qualify for the tournament, based on the strength of their blocking ability.
The 2009 Tornados volleyball team led the South Atlantic Conference in blocks with 267 on the season, averaging 2.45 per game. Two of the Tornados players, senior middle hitter Seaman and sophomore middle hitter Jordei Osby finished 1-2 individually in the conference in blocks per set, with each averaging over one a game.
Seaman, the Brevard College all-time record holder in total blocks with 520 in her career, led the way with 134 blocks on the season, averaging 1.23 in leading the SAC for the season year in a row, having averaged 0.96 last season.
Osby had a breakout campaign at the net following her freshman year where she finished with 59 blocks, totaling 107 blocks in 92 sets played, finishing second in the SAC with 1.16 per game.
The duo at the net were joined by freshman Jamie Atkinson who recorded 74 blocks on the season, averaging 0.72 per set, as the Tornados will look to contain the conference’s leader in hitting percentage in Wingate as a team, hitting 26.2 percent, led by Lauren Billo at 31.6 percent and Stormi Gale at 30.4 percent.
First serve for the match is set for noon and tickets are available at the door, starting Friday.
These tickets will allow entrance for one calendar day. Tournament individual daily tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for children under 12 and college students with college ID. The Tusculum Athletic Department will be providing admission for all TC students with a valid Tusculum ID.
Tusculum (18-13, 8-8 SAC) will be the No. 5 seed and face fourth-seeded Catawba College (16-10, 10-6 SAC) in a quarterfinal match on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Tusculum swept the two-match series over the Catawba Indians this year.
Wingate University, which claimed the SAC Championship by going undefeated in conference play for a third year in a row, is the No. 1 seed and will open the tournament on Friday at noon and face No. 8 seed Brevard College (15-14, 3-13 SAC). The Bulldogs (31-1, 16-0 SAC) are ranked 23rd in the nation in the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Poll and are the top-ranked team in the NCAA II Southeast Region.
At 5 p.m. on Friday, No. 2 seed Carson-Newman College (20-8, 12-4 SAC) will face seventh-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne University (19-14, 5-11 SAC) in the third quarterfinal match of the day. No. 3 seed Lincoln Memorial University (21-8, 10-6 SAC) will take on No. 6 Newberry College (18-15, 7-9 SAC) in the final quarterfinal match on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The winner of the Wingate/Brevard match will face the winner between Catawba and Tusculum on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in one semifinal. The other semifinal will have the winner between Carson-Newman and Lenoir-Rhyne meeting the winner of the LMU and Newberry match at 5 p.m.
The championship match is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday and will be web-streamed and available to view on the Internet. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament
Tusculum College ▪ Greeneville, Tenn.
Friday, November 13, 2009 ▪ Quarterfinal
No. 8 Brevard vs. No. 1 Wingate, Noon
No. 5 Tusculum vs. No. 4 Catawba, 2:30 p.m.
No. 7 Lenoir-Rhyne vs. No. 2 Carson-Newman, 5 pm
No. 6 Newberry vs. No. 3 Lincoln Memorial, 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 14, 2009 ▪ Semifinal
Brevard/Wingate winner vs. Tusculum/Catawba winner, 2:30 p.m.
Carson-Newman/Lenoir-Rhyne winner vs. Lincoln Memorial / Newberry winner, 5 p.m.
Sunday, November 15, 2009 ▪ Championship Match
Semifinal Winners, 2 p.m.