MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck has announced the 2013 volleyball schedule, which includes 17 home matches at the WVU Coliseum and 11 matches against teams that competed in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
"The 2013 schedule that coach (Jill) Kramer has put together is very competitive, as the volleyball team will be up against some of the nation's best," Luck says. "With 17 home matches, which includes the defending national champion, fans will have many opportunities to come see the Mountaineers play."
"We are really excited for the 2013 season to begin – only 87 more days. This group is hungry to compete,” coach Jill Kramer says. “We are excited to be celebrating 40 years of volleyball at West Virginia University this season. It is a special opportunity for us to be able to take a look at how the collegiate game has changed and highlight some of our former players and teams.”
To kick off the 2013 season, the Mountaineers will hold their annual Gold-Blue scrimmage which will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the WVU Coliseum.
“This year, first serve is the same weekend as the first kickoff for the football season, which allows us to have our intersquad scrimmage while school is already in session,” Kramer says. “We are looking forward to showcasing the progress our squad has made and introducing the new additions to our team at the scrimmage.”
WVU will officially open its season on the road for the first time since 2008 with the Blue/Gold Invitational at the University of Toledo on Aug. 30-31. The invitational is one of two away tournaments the Mountaineers will compete in, while the team also travels to Morehead State for three games on Sept. 13-14.
"We have done our best to schedule road matches that are easy for WVU fans to make it to,” Kramer says. “We will travel to tournaments at Toledo, where former Virginia Tech coach Greg Smith, is building a great program and to Morehead State – where volleyball is one of their premier sports on campus, regularly wins OVC championships, and makes NCAA tournament appearances.”
The Mountaineers are also set to host two tournaments this year, beginning with the Mountaineer Invitational on Sept. 6-7 at the WVU Coliseum. WVU will welcome Norfolk State, Canisius, Fordham and 2012 opponent Navy over the two-day tournament. The tournament schedule will conclude with the Gold and Blue Players Challenge on Sept. 20-22, where WVU will face off against 2012 NCAA tournament participant Liberty, former Big East foe Georgetown and UMBC.
“Our pre-conference schedule has been set to steadily prepare us for Big 12 play,” Kramer says. “We will host two pre-conference tournaments – Mountaineer Invitational and Gold and Blue Players Challenge, which will provide our fans with some great weekend entertainment.”
WVU will kick off its second season in the Big 12 by welcoming Kansas State on Sept. 27 at the WVU Coliseum. The Wildcats were one of five Big 12 teams to make the 2012 NCAA tournament and finished the season ranked No. 25 in RPI.
“We are pretty keyed up to get after it, especially in Big 12 play,” Kramer says. “We are thrilled to be in a premier volleyball league and to be able to step on the floor and play some of the top volleyball programs in the country, year in and year out.”
The Mountaineers open the month of October with their first Big 12 road trip, as the team travels to Texas to face off against TCU on Oct. 2 and Texas Tech on Oct. 5. WVU will return home to face Baylor in a midweek matchup on Oct. 9, before traveling to Iowa State on Saturday, Oct. 12. The Cyclones finished second in the league standings last year and also finished the 2012 season undefeated at home in league play.
WVU will return home to the Coliseum for a three-game home stand as the Mountaineers welcome Robert Morris, Kansas and 2012 NCAA National Champion Texas. The Mountaineers look to avenge a five-set loss to the Colonials on Oct. 16, while Kansas will make its way to the Coliseum on Saturday, Oct. 19. WVU hosts the Longhorns, who won the Big 12 Championship for the fifth time in the last six years and finished the season ranked No. 1 in the country, on Oct. 23. The Mountaineers will conclude the first half of Big 12 play on Saturday, Oct. 6 with a road match against Oklahoma.
Before beginning the second half of conference play, WVU will renew its rivalry with Marshall, by welcoming the Thundering Herd to Morgantown for a match on Tuesday, Oct. 29. WVU leads the series with a 28-17 record, but Marshall has taken nine of the last 10 games.
The Mountaineers will begin the second half of conference play at home against Texas Tech on Wednesday Nov. 2, before back-to-back road matches against Kansas and Kansas State on Wednesday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 9, respectively.
WVU continues the final month of conference play with two home matches against Iowa State on Wednesday, Nov. 13 and TCU on Saturday, Nov. 16. WVU will hit the road for its last away league matches at Texas on Nov. 21 and at Baylor on Nov. 23, before returning to the Coliseum for the final home match of the 2013 regular season against Oklahoma on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
The Mountaineers will conclude the regular season with a match on the road at Buffalo on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Division I NCAA volleyball championship action will open Thursday, Dec. 5 at respective regional sites.
The complete 2013 volleyball schedule can be found HERE