NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware volleyball squad, winners of two straight Colonial Athletic Association Tournament titles and five straight league regular season crowns, will face another challenging schedule in a brand new home in 2012.

Head coach Bonnie Kenny announced the team’s upcoming schedule on Monday with the slate highlighted by 14 home games as the Blue Hens play their first season in the Bob Carpenter Center.

Season tickets are on sale now by calling 302-831-2257 or by visiting the UD Season Ticket Office in its new home at the Bob Carpenter Center. Great group discounts are also available for individual games.

In addition to the home schedule, which includes the annual Delaware Invitational set for Sept. 7-8, the Blue Hens will also compete in tournaments at San Diego State, the University of Virginia, and Northwestern University.

All told, the Blue Hens will take on 17 teams that posted winning records a year ago, including four squads - Western Kentucky (31-4 last season), California (26-7), Texas A&M, (25-8) and Western Michigan (24-9) - that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. California finished the year ranked No. 16 in the final AVCA national Top 25 poll.

Kenny, who will enter her 11th season at the helm this fall, has led the Blue Hens to a dominating streak in the CAA. The Hens have won a share of five straight CAA regular season titles, captured CAA Tournament crowns in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times, winning first round games in 2007 and 2011. Eight letterwinners will return from last season’s 21-13 squad, including All-CAA hitters Alissa Alker and Chelsea Lawrence.

Delaware will begin its home schedule with the annual Delaware Invitational with the Hens hosting Columbia, Xavier, and Texas A&M for six matches over two days on Sept. 7-8. The Hens will take on Columbia and Texas A&M on Friday and Xavier in the tournament finale on Saturday. Texas A&M went 25-8 last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Hens will open the season Aug. 24-25 the San Diego State Tournament where they will take on host SDSU and California and then head to the University of Virginia the following week to take on the host Cavaliers, Lehigh, and defending Sun Belt champion Western Kentucky. Following the Delaware Invitational, the Hens will head to Chicago to take on host Northwestern, Western Michigan, and St. Louis in the Northwestern Tournament on Sept. 14-15.

Other non-league matches will see the Hens host Georgetown, Penn, Morgan State, Villanova, and in-state foe Delaware State for the Route 1 Rivalry.

The 14-game CAA slate will get underway on Sept. 21 with the Hens traveling to longtime foe Towson. The CAA home opener will be held Sept. 29 vs. Georgia State. The CAA Tournament will be held Nov. 16-18 and consist of the top six teams in the final standings playing at the site of the regular season champion.


2012 University of Delaware Volleyball Schedule:

August 24, at San Diego State (SDSU Tournament), 10 p.m.; 25, vs. California (SDSU Tournament), 4 p.m.; 31, vs. Lehigh (Virginia Tournament), 4:30 p.m.

September 1, vs. Western Kentucky (Virginia Tournament), 11 a.m.; at Virginia (Virginia Tournament), 7 p.m.; 7, Columbia (Delaware Invitational), 12 noon; Texas A&M (Delaware Invitational), 7 p.m.; 8, Xavier, 7 p.m.; 11, Georgetown, 7 p.m.; 14, at Northwestern (Northwestern Tournament), 1 p.m., vs. Western Michigan (Northwestern Tournament), 6 p.m.; 15, vs. St. Louis (Northwestern Tournament), 6:30 p.m.; 19, Pennsylvania, 7 p.m.; 21, at *Towson, 7 p.m.; 25, Morgan State, 7 p.m.; 29 *Georgia State, 7 p.m.

October 2, Delaware State, 7 p.m.; 5, at *UNCW, 7 p.m.; 7, at *William & Mary, 1 p.m.; 12, at *James Madison, 7 p.m.; 13, at *George Mason, 7 p.m.; 17, Villanova, 7 p.m.; 19, *Northeastern, 7 p.m.; 20, *Hofstra, 8 p.m.; 26, *Towson, 7 p.m.

November 2, at *Georgia State, 7 p.m.; 9, *William & Mary, 4 p.m.; 10, *UNCW, 7 p.m.; 16-18, CAA Tournament at Highest Seed.

*=Colonial Athletic Association Matches