The regular season is over and now the top eight teams in the Ohio Valley Conference are headed to Murray, Ky for the conference tournament.
Murray State won the conference with the best record and will be hosting the tournament for the second year in a row as the No. 1 seed.
The Racers finished with a 15-1 OVC record with their one loss coming from Eastern. Eastern defeated them in a five-set thriller Oct. 24 in Lantz Arena.
Murray State will be taking on the No. 8 seed Southeast Missouri in the first round of the tournament.
Belmont grabbed the No. 2 seed with an 11-5 record in the OVC. Eastern also had an 11-5 record in OVC play but Belmont held the tiebreaker between the two schools because they defeated Eastern earlier in the season.
The Bruins are riding a three-game losing streak heading into the tournament including losses to Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State and Southern Illinois Edwardsville.
Belmont will be taking on Morehead State in the first round of the tournament. The Bruins beat Morehead State in both matchups this year 3-2 and 3-0.
Coach Sam Wolinski was able to get Eastern back to the OVC tournament in her first year the Panthers’ head coach.
Eastern got the No. 3 seed by posting an 11-5 win. The Panthers were the only team to get by the No.1 seeded Racers for arguably their biggest win of the season.
Murray State straight set Eastern early in the season.
The Panthers ended their season on the losing side of things dropping a match to Tennessee State 3-1 suffering their only home OVC loss of the season on Saturday.
But Eastern did get a big three set comeback against the Cougars of SIUE the Wednesday before.
Eastern will be taking on Tennessee Tech in the first round. The Panthers straight set the Tigers to start the season.
Tennessee State’s 10-6 OVC record was good enough to get the No. 4 seed for the tournament.
Tennessee State straight set No. 2 Belmont a couple days before they got past Eastern.
The Tigers started the season rough with back-to-back losses to Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky but would go on to win five straight and only lose four more times after that.
Eastern Kentucky owns the fifth seed for the tournament with a 9-7 OVC record and will be taking on Tennessee State in the first round.
The Colonels beat the Tigers in both matchups this season with 3-2 and 3-1.
Eastern Kentucky ended its regular season by getting straight set by Austin Peay who finished with the worst record in the OVC at 4-12.
Morehead State is sitting in the No. 6 spot heading into the tournament and is facing Belmont in the first round.
Morehead State finished the season with a 7-9 record in OVC play. They may have a losing record but they did play some of the top teams pretty tough besides Murray State.
The Eagles lost in five sets 3-2 to Belmont in their second match of the year, but was also straight set by the Bruins later in the year. Morehead State defeated Eastern 3-2 back on Nov. 7.
The Eagles are riding a two-game losing streak going into the tournament.
Tennessee Tech finished the year with a 7-9 record making them the No. 7 seed going into the tournament.
The Golden Eagles won their last three matches of the regular season including a 3-2 win against Belmont Nov. 7.
Southeast Missouri earned themselves the No. 8 seed with a 6-10 record just beating out SIUE who will not be in the tournament.
Southeast Missouri did not end its regular season very well losing four straight matches, two of which were by straight sets and a 3-2 loss to Austin Peay.
For SIUE, Jacksonville State, UT-Martin and Austin Peay their seasons are over.
The tournament starts Thursday, it is win or go home. To win the championship, which will be Saturday night a team must win three matches.
Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]