SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Furman Paladins clinched the Southern Conference regular-season title and the top overall seed in the 2017 SoCon Volleyball Championship on Saturday afternoon. The tournament, which will feature all nine teams in the conference, will be held Nov. 17-19 on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.
The Paladins (20-9, 14-2 SoCon) defeated Mercer (9-20, 3-13 SoCon) on Saturday to clinch their fourth SoCon regular-season title and first since 2014 after Wofford defeated ETSU 3-0. The Wofford win knocked ETSU out of contention of the No. 1 seed. As the No. 1 seed, Furman will face the winner of the tournament’s opening match on Saturday, Nov. 17, between No. 8 seed Mercer and No. 9 seed The Citadel (8-25, 2-14 SoCon). The Citadel and Mercer split during the regular season, with the Bulldogs picking up their second SoCon win of the season on Oct. 20 and just their third since 2011. Friday’s winner advances to face the Paladins that day at 2:30 p.m.
ETSU (16-11, 12-4 SoCon) clinched the second seed in the tournament but saw its six-match winning streak come to an end after being swept by Wofford. The Bucs will face No. 7 seed Western Carolina (11-18, 6-10 SoCon) on Friday at 5 p.m. The Bucs and Catamounts split their regular-season meetings this season, with Western Carolina claiming the most recent victory in the series on Oct. 22, 3-2.
UNCG (18-10, 12-5 SoCon) claimed the No. 3 seed in the tournament after finishing the regular season on a seven-game winning streak. The Spartans will face the No. 6 seed in Chattanooga (13-17, 6-10 SoCon) in the 7:30 p.m. Friday match. The Mocs edged Western Carolina for the sixth spot by virtue of the league’s tiebreaker rules. The two split their regular-season meetings this season, as well.
Fourth-seeded Wofford (20-10, 10-6 SoCon) will clash with No. 5 seed Samford at 12 p.m. on Friday. The Terriers, who closed out the season with wins over Chattanooga and ETSU, swept the last meeting between the two programs on Oct. 20 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Samford claimed the first between the two schools, 3-1.
The semifinal round of the tournament will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, with matches scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., before the tournament culminates at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, with the championship match, which will be available on ESPN3.
The tournament champion will earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Volleyball Championship.
2017 Southern Conference Volleyball Championship Ramsey Center ▪ Cullowhee, N.C.
Friday, Nov. 17
Match 1: #8 Mercer vs. #9 The Citadel, 9:30 a.m. (SDN)
Match 2: #4 Wofford vs. #5 Samford, Noon (SDN)
Match 3: #1 Furman vs. Match 1 winner, 2:30 p.m. (SDN)
Match 4: #2 ETSU vs. #7 Western Carolina, 5 p.m. (SDN)
Match 5: #3 UNCG vs. #6 Chattanooga, 7:30 p.m. (SDN)
Saturday, Nov. 18
Match 6: Match 2 winner vs. Match 3 winner, 2 p.m. (SDN)
Match 7: Match 4 winner vs. Match 5 winner, 4:30 p.m. (SDN)
Sunday, Nov. 19
Match 8: Match 6 winner vs. Match 7 winner, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)