Volleyball Earns Fifth-Seed In Upcoming C-USA Tournament
Nov. 14, 2005
GREENVILLE, N.C.- East Carolina volleyball earned the No. 5 seed for the upcoming 2005 Conference USA Volleyball Tournament in Houston, Texas, Nov. 17-20. The Pirates will face No. 12 Southern Miss in the opening round of the tournament on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. ECU finished the regular season with a mark of 9-6 in conference play, the best finish for an ECU team in C-USA play since the Pirates joined the league in 2001.
The Pirates are 18-10 overall and have won their last five C-USA games against Tulsa, UCF, Southern Miss, Memphis and UAB. The Pirates and Golden Eagles are tied 3-3 in the all-time series between the two schools with ECU winning the last three matches, 3-0, with two wins coming earlier this season and the third a year ago in Greenville. East Carolina's 18 wins this season is the most wins at the school since the 1995 Pirates finished 18-18. Southern Miss finished the regular season 6-18 overall and 0-14 in C-USA play.
Marshall (15-1, 23-5) recorded not only the Conference USA regular season title in its inaugural year in C-USA, but the Thundering Herd also earned the No. 1 seed in the 2005 Conference USA Volleyball Championship. All 12 C-USA teams participate in the league tournament, which begins Thursday with first-round matches at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. (CT). The Thundering Herd, No. 2 seed Houston (10-4, 16-11), No. 3 Tulsa (10-5, 23-7) and No. 4 UTEP (10-6, 20-9) all receive first-round byes. The Miners' extended their win streak to five matches, earning a first-round bye, in a 3-0 victory Sunday afternoon over the third-seeded Golden Hurricane in El Paso, Texas, to end all 2005 Conference USA regular season play.
Ninth-seeded UCF (6-10, 8-17) meets No.8 Memphis (7-7, 16-15) to get the action started at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The winner of that match will face top-ranked Marshall on Friday at 2 p.m. The Thundering Herd has won the last nine of its matches, the longest streak since 1977, while the 23 victories are the most in school history since 1995 when the Herd won 25. The winner of the ECU-Southern Miss match squares off against fourth-seeded UTEP on Friday at 3 p.m. The Miners' 20-9 is the best regular-season finish since 1996, when UTEP tabbed a 19-10, 10-6 record in the Western Athletic Conference.
Thursday evening's session begins with No. 11 seed Tulane (2-13, 3-15) against No. 6 seed Rice (8-7, 17-9) at 7 p.m., while No. 10 seed UAB (5-10, 14-12) faces No. 7 seed SMU (8-7, 12-15) at 9 p.m. The Owls are coming off their most successful season in program history after receiving their first NCAA tournament bid with a 25-5 (12-1 WAC) record in 2004. The winner of the Green Wave-Owl match will face third-seeded Tulsa on Friday at 7 p.m. The Golden Hurricane has posted a winning record in three of the last five years, the best stretch since the first years of the program. The Mustangs and Blazers both look to break four-game losing streaks Friday evening, an effort which advances the winner to Friday's final match at 9 p.m. against No. 2 Houston. The Cougars look to earn their 12th NCAA appearance under head coach Bill Walton, who became just the 11th coach in NCAA history to pick up his 600th career win earlier this season.
The semifinal matches are slated for Saturday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., with the championship match set for Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. (CT). The match will be televised live by CSTV. Conference USA's official website, www.conferenceusa.com, will provide updates, box scores, recaps and photos.
ECU will play one final regular season match before heading to Houston for the tournament against in-state rival Charlotte Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. inside Minges Coliseum.