An exciting schedule featuring nine matches against 2015 NCAA Tournament teams highlights the upcoming schedule for the University of Evansville Volleyball team.
“This will be a year of growth and constant learning for our team, as it presents the youngest roster in more than a decade. We have no seniors, and an incoming class that has the chance to compete for impactful roles right away,” head coach Manolo Concepcion said. “That is why we designed a schedule that will challenge our group throughout the pre-season, while having opportunities to gain confidence with the balance of opponents’ strength.”
Highlighting the non-conference schedule is a visit to the Carson Center by defending Atlantic 10 Champion Dayton. The Purple Aces also make their way to Bloomington, Indiana, for the Indiana Invitational in the season-opening event. The Hoosiers will return the trip in 2017, playing in the Aces’ home tournament.
“It will be an early round of matches that will assimilate the level of our conference, which has improved dramatically in the past years, and will continue to do so. Getting four teams in the NCAA Tournament is an achievement that very few conferences achieve in Division I Volleyball, and the MVC has the potential to repeat such attainment this season as well,” Concepcion continued. “So we see this year as an opportunity to fully introduce our vision and principles to a roster that will remain together for two years.”
On August 26, the season begins with the Indiana Invitational where the Aces take on Marshall, Indiana, and Northern Kentucky. The second tournament of the season will take place on September 3 as UE heads to the SIU Edwardsville Tournament to face the Cougars along with Green Bay.
Following that trip, UE opens its home slate on September 5 against Southeast Missouri State before hosting its annual home tournament that weekend. Teams coming into the Carson Center for the event include Dayton, Austin Peay, and Kent State.
The final non-conference tournament will see the Aces head to Jacksonville, Alabama, for the Gamecock Classic. Kennesaw State, Louisiana Monroe, Jacksonville State, and Nicholls State will be the opponents.
Missouri Valley Conference play begins on September25 and 26 with home matches against Drake and UNI. The Panthers were one of four MVC squads to play in the NCAA Tournament in 2015. Wichita State won the regular season and tournament championship last season while Southern Illinois and Missouri State joined UNI as at-large bids.
Following a stretch of six out of eight matches on the road, Evansville returns home for its final three matches in November for a crucial finish against three NCAA teams. The Salukis come to the Carson Center on November 11 while Missouri State and Wichita State will be in town a week later.