Volleyball Announces 2010 Schedule
June 14, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
University of Memphis head volleyball coach April Jauregui announced the Tigers 2010 volleyball schedule today. Memphis faces a challenging schedule that includes five matches against teams that advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament and 18 contests against 12 clubs that posted winning records in 2009.
"The goal with this year's schedule was to create balance," said third-year coach April Jauregui. "We scheduled two regional tournaments in order to minimize the travel fatigue, and are hosting one tournament. We will play 12 matches in our pre-season schedule before the start of conference play. I wanted to get our team out on the road more in preparation for the new C-USA schedule. We have to be able to go on the road and pick up key wins. With seven new players it is very important to build camaraderie early in the season and this schedule gives us an opportunity to do that."
The Tigers will open the 2010 season at the Belmont Invitational in Nashville, Tenn., August 27-28. There they will take on a challenging field that includes, Belmont, Jacksonville State and Miami, Ohio. Ohio Valley Conference champions, Jacksonville State, headline the field. Guided by AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year Rick Nold, the Gamecocks went 27-8 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Redhawks and Bruins both posted winning campaigns in 2009, with 17 and 18 wins, respectively.
Memphis will head to Chicago to participate in the UIC Tournament in week two of the preseason, September 3-4. The Tigers will face the host Flames at 7 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 3, followed by a Saturday doubleheader against Northern Illinois (12 p.m.) and Kennesaw State (5 p.m.). UIC's recruiting class earned honorable mention by prepvolleyball.com. The Flames won 16 games in 2009. NIU went 14-16 in 2009, while Kennesaw State, of the Atlantic Sun Conference, finished the year, 17-12.
The weekend of September 10-11 will mark the Tiger's first opportunity to play in front of the home crowd and the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Memphis will host Air Force, LaSalle and Tennessee State in Memphis Invitational. The Tigers will battle TSU in the home opener at 7 p.m. on September 10. On Sat., Sept. 11, they will host LaSalle at 1 p.m. and Air Force at 7 p.m.
Memphis will wrap up non-conference action at the UCA Sugar Bear Classic in Conway, Ark., Sept. 17-18. The Tigers will matchup against UCA, Jackson State and Northwestern State in the four-team tournament. UCA posted an impressive 27-3 overall mark, including going a perfect 16-0 en route to a Southland Conference championship in 2009. Jackson State recorded 18 wins and advanced to the SWAC semifinals last season.
With the elimination of the postseason tournament, the regular season C-USA schedule will take on a new look for 2010. The C-USA season will begin September 25 and will conclude on November 27. Memphis will play home-and-home contests against every league team except East Carolina and Marshall.
For the third time in four years, the Tigers will open league play at home, when they host Tulsa in a two-match weekend on Sept. 25-26. Memphis will play a split weekend in which they host Marshall at 7 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 1, and travel to East Carolina for a Sunday afternoon contest on October 3. The Tigers will remain on the road for the next weekend as they make the trip to Dallas to take on SMU in a pair of weekend tilts on Oct 9-10. Memphis will host Houston on October 15, followed by a bout against the league's reigning champions, Rice on October 17. Jauregui's crew will take on the league's toughest weekend of travel when they head to El Paso, Texas to play UTEP on Fri., Oct. 22, followed by a match in Orlando at UCF on Sun., Oct. 24. The Tigers will return home the next weekend (Oct. 29-31) to host Southern Miss and Tulane, respectively. Southern Miss comes off of a regular season championship, while Tulane advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009. Memphis will hit the road for the next four matches, battling Rice and Houston on Fri., Nov. 5 and Sun., Nov. 7. The Tigers will make the trip south to New Orleans to take on Tulane on Nov. 12, before a return matchup versus Southern Miss on Nov. 14. Memphis will complete the season series with UCF and UTEP on Nov. 19 and 21, before rounding out regular season action with a home-and-home weekend versus UAB. The Tigers will play at UAB on Nov. 24 before ending the regular season at home against the Blazers on November 27.
"This year we will play 20 conference matches," Jauregui said. "It was decided by the conference coaches to eliminate the C-USA tournament. It is a unique schedule that incorporates some innovative ideas such as a series format. Every match counts and there is no room to take a "day off" because with no conference tournament, your record determines your season finish. The new format amplifies the importance of every match. Every C-USA match will be a battle this year, and at this point there is no clear-cut favorite."