JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 26, 2011) – Four tournaments, eight home matches, and a full Atlantic Sun Conference slate highlight the 2011 ETSU volleyball schedule, announced by head coach Lindsey Devine on Tuesday.
The 29-match regular season schedule includes 13 Atlantic Sun Conference matches, which is a different format than previous years. In addition, the Bucs will take on five opponents that finished last season in the top-100 in the RPI and four opponents that advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bucs will be on the road for the first 14 matches of the season as they open the 2011 campaign at the UNC Greensboro Tournament on Friday, Aug. 26. The event features Evansville, North Carolina A&T, Coastal Carolina as well as the host UNC Greensboro. The Bucs open the tournament against Evansville on Friday morning and UNC Greensboro in the afternoon before taking on North Carolina A&T and Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
Just one week later, the Bucs travel to MTSU for the Blue Raider Bash, a three-day tournament that features three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. ETSU opens the tournament by taking on host MTSU on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. The Blue Raiders finished the 2010 season with a No. 28 RPI after winning the Sun Belt Conference and advancing to the NCAAs. The event continues on Saturday with the Bucs taking on Missouri and Austin Peay, before closing out the tournament with FIU on Sunday morning. Both Missouri and Austin Peay participated in the NCAA Tournament in 2010, with Missouri advancing to the Sweet 16.
After having a few days to rest up, the Bucs hit the road again for another in-state tournament. ETSU will participate in the Comfort Inn & Suites Invitational hosted by Chattanooga on Friday, Sept. 9. The Bucs open the event against longtime rival UNC Asheville at 11 a.m. before ending the day with a match against host Chattanooga at 6 p.m. ETSU will close out the tournament on Saturday against in-state rival Tennessee Tech at 5 p.m.
The Bucs close out tournament play by traveling to Harrisonburg, Va. to compete in the James Madison Tournament. ETSU will take on host James Madison on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. before taking on Appalachian State at 10 a.m. Last season, the Mountaineers left Johnson City with a tough 3-2 victory over the Bucs. This year’s match will be the 56th time the two schools have faced off with ASU holding a 39-16 advantage. The Bucs have faced ASU more than any other opponent in their volleyball history. ETSU will close the tournament against Georgetown at 5 p.m. The match against the Hoyas will be the first time the two schools have played in volleyball.
The Bucs finally open the home portion of the schedule by hosting USC Upstate in the first Atlantic Sun Conference match of the season on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. The Atlantic Sun schedule will look a little different this year as the conference is now broken up into two divisions. The Bucs, who will be in the north division, will take on Lipscomb, Belmont, USC Upstate, and Kennesaw State two times each. ETSU will take on south division foes, Mercer, UNF, Jacksonville, Stetson, and Florida Gulf Coast just once each.
After hosting USC Upstate, the Bucs hit the road for the Nashville swing, the weekend of Sep. 30. ETSU will take on Belmont on Sep. 30 at 8:15 p.m. and back-to-back conference champion Lipscomb on Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. The Bucs will look to get revenge against the Bisons after eventually falling in a five-set thriller in the A-Sun Championship match last season.
A week later, ETSU begins a three-match homestand, its longest home stretch of the season. The Bucs host Jacksonville (Oct. 7) and North Florida (Oct. 8) on back-to-back nights before hosting Wofford in a midweek non-conference match on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.
Following the three-game homestand, the Bucs turn around and hit the road for three straight. ETSU will take on Stetson (Oct. 14) and Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 15) in conference action, before traveling to Presbyterian on Oct. 18 for the final non-conference match of the year.
Just three days later, the Bucs return home for conference action against Mercer (Oct. 21) and Kennesaw State (Oct. 22). After facing KSU at home, the Bucs make the return trip to Kennesaw State just six days later to close out the October portion of the schedule.
After hosting USC Upstate earlier in the season, the Bucs make the trip to Spartanburg, S.C. for the first match in November. The Bucs and Spartans will face off on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
The Bucs close out regular season play that next weekend as they host Lipscomb (Nov. 11) and Belmont (Nov. 12). ETSU will have its annual Family Weekend festivities on Friday and Senior Day on Saturday. The Lipscomb match is set for 7 p.m., while the regular season finale against Belmont is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The Atlantic Sun Championship will take place November 17-19 in Nashville, Tenn. at Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University.