SEWANEE, Tenn. - The Sewanee volleyball team is gearing up for the 2018 Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Volleyball Championship this weekend at Berry College. The Tigers will enter with the best seed in the six-plus year history of the SAA as the No. 4 seed.
5) Rhodes (14-12, 5-9) vs. 4) Sewanee (19-7, 9-5)
Friday, Nov. 2 | 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT
The Cage Center | Mount Berry, Ga.
All-Time Record vs. Rhodes (since 1991): Rhodes leads series, 39-14
Regular Season Results: Sewanee swept regular season series, 3-1 on Sept. 23 at home and 3-0 on Oct. 20 in Memphis
PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF: Despite finishing the regular season with a .500 or better record for the second straight season, the Tigers have improved from 2017 to 2018, and not just in win totals or having a winning season for the first time since 1997, but in tournament seeding.
After earning a five-seed in the conference tournament for just the second time in the SAA-era, the Tigers, thanks to a 9-5 conference record, earned the four-seed, marking it the highest tournament seed.
Sewanee will look to win its first SAA Championship match for the first time since 2013.
PARTY LIKE IT'S 1999: Win a win in the quarterfinal match Friday afternoon, Sewanee will obtain their first 20-win season in almost two decades. The team's last won 20 in a season in 1999, when they finished.
The program has secured 20 wins in a season just twice since 1991. Along with the 21-win 1999 season, the Tigers won 29 in 1992.
OTHERS ARE TAKING NOTICE: For the third straight week, Sewanee has been ranked in the NCAA South Regional Poll, marking the first time in school history that this feat has happened. In the latest regional poll, announced on Wednesday, the Tigers are seventh in the eight-team poll that includes institutions from the USA South, Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), SAA and Emory.
For the second straight week, four teams from the Southern Athletic Association are listed in the rankings: Berry (No. 1), Birmingham-Southern (No. 2), Hendrix (No. 4) and Sewanee (No. 7).
The final NCAA regional rankings will be released on Nov. 5 in conjunction with the NCAA Selection Show for the 2018 NCAA Volleyball Championships.
SET IT UP FOR CONSTANCE: It has been a memorable season for junior Constance Connolly. The Memphis native is leading the SAA in assists (888) and is second in assists per set (9.65). Prior to her third year with the volleyball program, she had 833 assists in her first two seasons combined.
FRONT ROW ELLIE: In her freshman campaign, Ellie Pedersen has been a great weapon for Nancy Mueller-Culver's front row. Despite being 19th in the conference in kills (173), the Franklin native has come alive in conference play.
She has posted 127 kills in 14 conference matches, good for eighth in the league. However, her attack numbers are the talk of the conference. She has committed 14 errors in 264 total attacks, recording a .428 attack percentage, good for tops in the conference.
Additionally, Pedersen is on a streak of six straight conference matches without committing an error, while recording a .544 attack percentage (56-0-103).