Volleyball Final Four field is set in Westwego
WESTWEGO, La. - The SWAC Volleyball Championship tournament field has been narrowed to the final four as Jackson State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Southern have advanced to the semifinals at the Alario Center.
Jackson State breezed through a pair of wins over Texas Southern (25-16, 25-15, 25-9) and Alabama State (25-14, 25-17, 25-9). Meanwhile, Alabama A&M had to work a bit harder, but emerged as the other unbeaten team. The Lady Bulldogs swept Southern 25-14, 25-10, 25-18 but needed five sets to take down Prairie View 26-24, 24-26, 25-19, 20-25, 16-14 in an intense thriller.
Alabama State opened the day with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-15 win over Grambling State, but slipped into the elimination bracket with the loss to Jackson State. The Lady Hornets stayed alive with a 25-12, 25-13, 25-18 over Texas Southern. Southern was the first team into the elimination bracket after their loss to A&M. But, the Lady Jaguars eliminated Mississippi Valley State 25-17, 25-22, 18-25, 25-18, then knocked off West Division top seed Prairie View in five sets 25-17, 25-22, 20-25, 20-25, 15-8.
In the other two matches of the day, Prairie View beat Mississippi Valley State 25-21, 25-20, 25-15 and Texas Southern sent ended Grambling State's weekend with a tough 26-28, 25-21, 17-25, 25-19, 15-7 win.
On Sunday morning, a pair of rematches headline the start of the day as Jackson State plays Alabama State and Alabama A&M takes on Southern at 9 a.m. The A&M-Southern match can be seen live on SWAC-TV. If Alabama A&M and Jackson State should win, the two teams will meet at 3 p.m. to decide the 2011 championship in a match that will be shown tape delayed on ESPN.
If Southern beats A&M, the two team will play again at 11 a.m. The same goes for the other matchup between Jackson State and Alabama State.
Alabama A&M is seeking a fifth straight SWAC tournament title. The Lady Bulldogs have won 10 of the last 11 SWAC tournaments. They defeated Jackson State in the 2010 Championship match, leaving the Lady Tigers searching for their first title in the programs history.
Of the remaining teams in the final four, only Southern has a title. The Lady Jaguars have claimed two championships, in 1993 and 1998.