SOSU Faces SAU in GAC Tourney Opener

Southeastern will open play in the Great American Conference Tournament at noon on Nov. 13 when it enters as the No. 3 seed and face sixth-seeded Southern Arkansas in the Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark.

The third-seed matches the highest conference tournament seeding the program has had, tying with its first GAC tournament appearance in 2011 when it was also the third-seed.

SE is coming off its first winning season since 2009 and finished the regular season with a 17-13 overall mark and a 10-4 record in GAC play.

Those 10 conference wins include a 3-1 road victory over SAU on Sept. 26 in which Julia Benford and Megan Kunkel each posted double-digit kills and SE rallied to win three-straight sets after falling in the first.

Kunkel paces the Storm offense heading into the postseason with a 2.94 kills per set average, while Emily Gentle is right behind at 2.88 and the duo of Benford and Ariel Sanders are at 2.38 and 1.97 kps, respectively.

Alissa Benson has triggered the offense to the tune of 8.26 assists per set, while Madelynne Cera has added 4.64 aps.

On defense, Kelsey Zerkel leads the charge with 3.89 digs per set, while Kunkel is at 3.11, and three others average more than two per set.

At the net, Benford leads the way with 88 total blocks, while Sanders is at 85 and Gentle 82.

SAU comes into the postseason with a 13-17 record overall and a 7-7 mark in league play.

They are led offensively by Amanda Monge who is posting 3.49 kills per set, while Taylor Reaume is dishing out 9.39 assists per set.

Hannah Rice leads the defense on the back row with 4.75 digs per set, while Alli O'Banion has 108 total blocks.

A win for the Storm would mean a 3:30 p.m. Nov. 14 matchup against the winner between Southern Nazarene and Arkansas-Monticello. The championship game is set for 2 p.m. on Nov. 15.

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