INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For the fifth consecutive season the Lincoln Memorial University volleyball program has earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament. The Lady Railsplitters are the No. 5 seed for the 2012 tourney, setting up a duel with in-state rivals Tusculum College, the No. 4 seed. The opening round match will be played Nov. 29 in Savannah, Ga.
The Lady Railsplitters and Pioneers have played three times already this season with TC holding a 2-1 series lead. The Pioneers defeated LMU in four sets in Saturday’s SAC tournament semifinal.
In the first meeting between the two teams during the regular season on Sept. 25, the Lady Railsplitters took a four-set victory in Mary E. Mars Gymnasium, highlighted by LMU capping the match with a 25-11 triumph in the decisive fourth set. Blaire Fowler led the Lady ‘Splitters in that contest with 21 kills, while Jennifer Drumm and Casey Mense tallied 13 and 12 kills respectively.
Tusculum responded by defeating the Lady Railsplitters in four sets in Greeneville on Oct. 23. Despite the loss, Lincoln Memorial flourished offensively with Fowler getting 19 kills, Drumm 11 kills and Kaitlin Walton adding 12.
In the three meetings this season, Fowler has averaged 18 kills in each contest to lead the Lady Railsplitters.
Tusculum leads the all-time series against LMU by a slight margin, holding a 29-25 advantage while Lincoln Memorial has won three of the last five meetings between the two teams.
The South Atlantic Conference earned five bids to the tournament, with SAC regular season and tournament champions Wingate University leading the way with the No. 2 seed. Along with LMU and Tusculum, Newberry earned the No. 6 seed while Lenoir-Rhyne grabbed the No. 7 spot.
Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament champions Armstrong Atlantic State University earned the top-billing in the tournament and will host the event in Savannah.
The Lady Railsplitters are set to open the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Savannah’s Alumni Arena. With a win, LMU would advance to take on the winner of No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic And No. 8 Belmont Abbey on Nov. 30.