Tourney Time: Suns Face UWA Today

Arkansas Tech will begin its 14th and final Gulf South Conference Volleyball Tournament today (Friday, Nov. 12) by taking on the West Alabama Tigers at the University of West Florida Field House in Pensacola.

The Golden Suns (30-4) and the Tigers (10-20) will begin their match at 2:30 p.m.

Click here to access live statistics and updates from the tournament.

Arkansas Tech has been a staple of the GSC Volleyball Tournament ever since the institution joined the GSC in 1995.

The Golden Suns have even made it to the championship match on three occasions (1999, 2000 and 2002), but Tech has never brought the trophy home from the GSC Volleyball Tournament.

This will be the Golden Suns’ last chance to accomplish that feat. Arkansas Tech and eight other institutions from Arkansas and Oklahoma will form a new NCAA Division II conference in 2011.

West Alabama struggled in GSC East Division play this year with a 2-8 league record. The Tigers lost four of their last five regular season matches, but their 3-1 win over Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 2 was enough to get them into the postseason.

UWA is making its fourth consecutive GSC Volleyball Tournament appearance.

Arkansas Tech is also part of the volleyball postseason for a fourth consecutive year, but it has been eight years since the Golden Suns last won a match at the GSC Volleyball Tournament.

Tech was bounced in the first round in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Last year’s postseason setback was a 3-2 loss at the hands of West Alabama.

The Suns’ last win at the GSC Volleyball Tournament was a 3-2 victory over Harding in the 2002 semifinals.

This year’s Arkansas Tech squad appears poised to end that streak. The Suns enter the postseason on a 12-match winning streak, and Tech has won 25 of its last 26 matches dating back to Sept. 11.

The Suns had little trouble with West Alabama in the only previous meeting between the two teams this season. Tech defeated the Tigers 25-9, 25-17, 25-14 in a neutral-site match at Huntsville, Ala., on Sept. 18.

The winner of the Tech-UWA match will face the winner between North Alabama and Christian Brothers in the GSC Tournament semifinals at noon on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Other first-round matches on Friday pit Harding against Valdosta State and West Florida against Henderson State.

The GSC Tournament championship match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.