Bound for Nationals: Lady Eagles set to face rival Clarion in NCAA Tournament

By Robert Mohr
Staff Writer

The Lady Eagles potentially could play three grudge matches to win the Atlantic region in national tournament.

On November 17th, two weeks ago, the Lock Haven’s women’s volleyball team (26-10) took on Erie’s Gannon University (28-5) in the PSAC Final. After racing up two sets on the home team, the Golden Knights rallied to collect the next three sets and a PSAC championship.

Photo courtesy of Sports Information.
Bailey Farthing (right) recently earned Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Atlantic Region honors.

However, a resilient Lady Eagle’s team has the opportunity for revenge if things fall into place in this year’s 2012 NCAA Division II Championship.

The first opposition the Haven will face on their playoff journey is fellow PSAC contender Clarion (23-11) at Wheeling Jesuit of West Virginia who is the number 1 ranked seed in the region.

Lock Haven fell to Clarion away earlier this season in five games. In that performance against the Golden Eagles, Gao Xuan lead the team with a notable 19 kills and has been the Haven’s greatest offensive threat this season. If Lock Haven is going to make a run in the tournament, they we will certainly be in need of Xuan’s services.

If the Ladies Eagles are able to pass the first test and extend their trip to the next day, they are likely to face Wheeling Jesuit (35-2), the hosts of the first three rounds in the Atlantic region. The Cardinals will challenge the number 8 regional seed, Fayetteville State in the first round. However, the Fayetteville State Broncos are no slouches. The North Carolina school’s season record rests at an impressive 28-5.

When Lock Haven traveled to Wheeling Jesuit earlier in the season, things did not end pretty for the visitors as the Lady Eagles were swept in three sets. This potentially sets up another grudge match for the Haven who will be eager to settle the score should they meet the hosts. Senior, Erin Walsh, lead the Haven in digs that day with 14.

The Gannon Golden Knights will take on rivals Mercyhurst College (25-10) in an all Erie affair in the first round and are expected to progress. The winner of that showdown will find themselves in the company of either California University of Pennsylvania (28-7), who lock haven knocked out of the PSAC tournament in the semifinal, or Shippensburg (27-11).

Gannon is ranked higher (seed 2) than any of the teams on their side of the Atlantic region section part of the bracket. The PSAC champions could find themselves up against Lock Haven in a PSAC final rematch should both teams win their first two matches.

The first match of the tournament for Lock Haven starts at 5 P.M. Thursday. Should the Haven progress, their second match will be the following day at 7:30 P.M.

The Atlantic regional final will be held at 7 P.M. on Saturday, December 1.

Robert Mohr is a senior majoring in communication and can be contacted at rmohr@lhup.edu

 
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