Golden Suns Open GSC Play Tonight

Arkansas Tech will begin the chase for its fifth and final Gulf South Conference West Division volleyball championship when the Golden Suns host the undefeated Ouachita Baptist Lady Tigers tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 21).

First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Tucker Coliseum. No admission will be charged, but fans are encouraged to bring canned food items to donate to the ongoing “Project: Feed Arkansas” campaign that Tech Athletics is conducting to benefit the Arkansas Rice Depot.

Arkansas Tech (12-3) has won seven consecutive matches, and the Golden Suns have only dropped one game during their seven-match streak. That came in a 3-1 victory over Valdosta State on Friday.

Ouachita Baptist has won its first 11 matches of the season. The Lady Tigers are the only GSC team with a longer active winning streak than the one that Arkansas Tech is on.

Tuesday night’s match will be the final GSC opener for both volleyball programs. Both OBU and Tech will be part of a new nine-school conference that is scheduled to form beginning with the 2011-12 academic year.

The Golden Suns were GSC West Division champions in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2008. Tech has qualified for the GSC Tournament 13 times, including the last three years in a row.

Tech was picked to finish second in the GSC West this season in a preseason poll of league head coaches. Harding (5-7), which opens league play Tuesday night at home against Southern Arkansas, was the preseason favorite to win the 2010 GSC West title.

Ouachita Baptist has only reached the GSC Tournament, which includes the top four teams from both the GSC East and GSC West Divisions each year, on three occasions. The Lady Tigers have not qualified for the volleyball postseason since 2007.

This year’s OBU squad was picked to finish sixth in the seven-team GSC West Division.