Memphis Volleyball Announces 2009 Schedule
June 25, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Fifteen home matches, 16 contests versus teams that posted winning seasons in 2008 and six matches against five teams that advanced to the 2008 NCAA Tournament highlight the University of Memphis' 31-match, 2009 volleyball season it was announced today by head coach April Jauregui.
With 13 matches against teams that registered 20 or more wins, and contests at NCAA participants Missouri State, Tulane, UAB and Western Kentucky, this year's schedule is one of the most competitive that the Tigers have ever played.
"The schedule isn't about how many wins we can rack up," said Jauregui. "I want to push our players to the limit and be in a good situation come C-USA Tournament time to compete for the league championship."
Jauregui's Tigers will open the year with four pre-season tournaments. They will kick the season off by hosting the Memphis Invitational, Aug. 28-29. Memphis will take on Evansville in its season-opener on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. The club will be tested quickly as it heads to Missouri State for the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational (Sept. 4-5) and Western Kentucky for the Lady Topper Invitational (Sept. 11-12) in consecutive weekends. Missouri State and Western Kentucky tallied 23 and 26 wins, respectively in 2008. Both advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The pre-season slate will conclude with the club's second home tournament--the Tiger Invitational--on Sept. 18-19. The Tigers will face three 20-game winners in Samford (Sept. 18, 7 p.m.), New Orleans (Sept. 19, 2 p.m.) and UALR (Sept. 19, 7 p.m.).
"The pre-season schedule provides a balance for our players to gain valuable experience and test their ability against top RPI programs," said second-year head coach Jauregui. "My goal, with our pre-season schedule, is to prepare our team for the strong competition they will encounter in C-USA. We will be facing four opponents who finished last season with a 75 RPI or higher, two of which competed in the NCAA tournament. That is by far the most aggressive pre-season schedule that the University of Memphis Volleyball program has had in years."
Memphis will open its tough C-USA schedule at home against UAB on Sept. 17. They will make it back-to-back games against NCAA Tournament competitors when they host Rice on Fri., Sept 25. A home contest versus Houston (Sept. 26, 7 p.m.) will wrap up a stretch of seven-straight matches against teams that recorded 20 wins in the previous season.
After a six-match homestand, the Tigers will spend the better part of October on the road. The month will feature tough road matches at Tulsa (Oct. 16), SMU (Oct. 17), UTEP (Oct. 23) and reigning C-USA champion Tulane (Oct. 25). The Tigers will round out the regular season slate with a trio of road matches at ECU (Nov. 6), Marshall (Nov. 8) and UAB (Nov. 14).
The 2009 C-USA Championships will be held Nov. 19-22 in Houston. For the first time in league history, the top eight teams will advance to the postseason tournament.
"Last year our conference (C-USA) finished as the fifth-ranked conference in the country with three teams competing in the NCAA tournament," said Jauregui. "This year's schedule reflects the direction and goals for this program. There are no "freebies" in this year's schedule. Every match we scheduled is designed to test our player's ability and mental strength."