TOWSON, Md. -- After beginning the 2013 season with 14 non-conference matches, the University of Delaware volleyball team opens the second half of its schedule on Friday as the Blue Hens kick off Colonial Athletic Association play at Towson.

Delaware, which is 8-6 on the season, will face the Tigers at Towson’s brand new SECU Arena Friday at 7 p.m. as both teams commence their conference slate. Towson is just 5-12 on the year, but is looking to defend its 2012 CAA regular season title.

The Blue Hens, who advanced to the conference championship match a year ago, are coming off an impressive performance at the Clemson Classic in which Delaware posted victories over Troy and the host Tigers. UD’s win over Clemson was the program’s first over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent since a 2009 victory over North Carolina.

Delaware is led by sophomore Katie Hillman, who leads the team and ranks fourth in the league with 3.39 kills per set. Senior Katie Hank is ninth in the conference with 2.82 kills per set, while redshirt sophomore Chandler Bryant’s .252 hitting percentage is 10th highest in the CAA.

Sophomore Mackenzie Olsen leads the league with 9.62 assists per set, while classmate Ariel Shonk is second in the conference and 15th in Division I by averaging 5.30 digs per set.

Towson, which has won its only previous home match this season, is looking to snap a four-match losing streak from last weekend at the Missou Classic. Junior Saitaua Iosia leads the Tigers with 186 kills and has added 141 digs, while fellow junior Victoria Williams has posted 152 kills and 38 blocks.

Delaware holds a 37-35 lead in the all-time series between the two long-time rivals, although Towson has won four straight after sweeping the Blue Hens in each of the last two years. This season marks the fourth straight year that Delaware will kick off CAA play against the Tigers.

Following Friday’s match, the Blue Hens will take a week off before returning home to host Northeastern and Hofstra next Friday and Saturday in a pair of 7 p.m. matches at the Bob Carpenter Center.