Early Home Bouts against Florida State and Oregon; Matchup against Stanford Highlight 2011 Schedule
June 8, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - Fresh off its own NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010, University of Delaware volleyball head coach Bonnie Kenny announced that the Blue Hens will square off against six teams that earned a spot in last season’s NCAA Tournament, highlighting Delaware’s 2011 schedule. The Blue Hens are coming off one of their best season’s in program history, finishing with a 26-6 overall record, and running through the Colonial Athletic Association with a 13-1 record.
The Blue Hens will now look to take their game to a higher level, playing home matches against NCAA participants Florida State and Northern Iowa. They will also compete against Stanford, Sacred Heart, New Mexico, and Penn on the road or on neutral sites, all teams that earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
“This will be the toughest preseason schedule ever for Delaware volleyball with several Top 20 opponents and NCAA Tournament participants ahead of us,” Kenny, the reigning CAA Co-Coach of the Year said. “We will need to get our student-athletes prepared for another challenging CAA Season and this is the only time we have to do it.”
Delaware opens the 2011 campaign on the road in Houston as they jump right into the fold of the grueling preseason schedule with the Rice Tournament. They will start the season with host Rice on August 26 before taking on Stanford the following day to round out the trip. Stanford finished fifth in the final AVCA Coaches poll last season after making a trip to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
The Blue Hens return to Newark that week with their toughest home opener in recent memory. In a rematch of a 2008 NCAA First Round contest, Oregon will come to Barb Viera Court on August 30. The Ducks received votes in the final AVCA Coaches Poll last season, but was left out of the NCAA Tournament.
Delaware will remain home for its 35th Annual Delaware Volleyball Invitational from September 2-3. The Blue Hens will open the invitational with a bout against UC-Irvine on September 2, followed by two tough matchups on Saturday, September 3 against Florida State and Northern Iowa. The Seminoles made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and received votes in the final AVCA Coaches Poll while the Panthers were the fifth seed in the Tournament and finished 14th in the final coaches poll.
Kenny will take her team on the road for six of the next seven games, five of which include tournaments. Following a trip to Villanova on September 6, the Blue Hens will take part in the Maryland Tournament against Sacred Heart and Maryland on September 9 and 10, respectively. Sacred Heart claimed its first Northeast Conference championship and trip to the NCAA’s in 2010.
After a brief stop back in Newark on September 13 against Temple, the Blue Hens will hit the road again for another tournament. They will face off against North Carolina Central on September 16, and New Mexico and Pittsburgh the following day at the Pittsburgh Tournament. The Lobos earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament following a 20-9 regular season record and a 12-4 mark in the Mountain West Conference.
Prior to kicking off their 2011 CAA schedule, the Blue Hens will battle interstate rival Delaware State in the Carpenter Sports Building in the annual Route 1 Rivalry match on September 20.
The CAA schedule opens with a road match against travel partner Towson on September 23, followed by the team’s final nonconference contest against Penn the following day. Penn won the Ivy League regular season last year and the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA’s.
The CAA schedule becomes full swing following the Penn match with the first weekend on the road with a CAA Tournament Championship rematch against Northeastern on Friday, September 30. The Hens will then travel to Long Island to square off against Hofstra two days later.
Delaware’s CAA home opener will include rivals James Madison and George Mason on Friday, October 7 and Sunday, October 9.
But the team doesn’t get to enjoy home cooking long, as they are back on the road for another CAA weekend on October 14 and 15 against William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth.
Following the short two game road trip, UD will have its longest home stretch of the season as the Hens host Georgia State and UNC Wilmington on October 21 and 22, respectively. Ensuing matches against Towson on October 29, Hofstra on November 4, and Northeastern on November 5 round out the regular season home schedule.
Delaware will wrap things up with a weekend road trip to James Madison and George Mason on November 11-12 prior to preparing for the CAA Tournament starting on November 18. The CAA Tournament will again be hosted by the top seed of the regular season but will include the top six teams this season instead of four.
Vying for back-to-back CAA Tournament Championships, and their fourth in the last five seasons, the Blue Hens will turn to All-Conference selections Alissa Alker (above right) and Kim Stewart (below right) to lead the 2011 squad. Alker was named a Third Team All-CAA member last season while Stewart was named a 2009 Second Team selection, and a 2010 COBRA Magazine All-National Honorable Mention Team member. Alker and Stewart were each named to the CAA All-Tournament Team following the postseason tournament.
2011 University of Delaware Volleyball Schedule
Aug. 26 at Rice, TBA (Rice Tournament); Aug. 27 vs. Stanford, TBA (Rice Tournament); Aug. 30 vs. Oregon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 vs. UC-Irvine, 7 p.m. (UD Invitational); Sept. 3 vs. Florida State, 12:30 p.m. (UD Invitational); Sept. 3 vs. Northern Iowa, 7 p.m. (UD Invitational); Sept. 6, at Villanova, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 vs. Sacred Heart, 4:30 p.m. (Maryland Tournament); Sept. 10 vs. Yale, 10 a.m. (Maryland Tournament)Sept. 10 at Maryland, 7 p.m. (Maryland Tournament); Sept. 13 vs. Temple, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16 vs. North Carolina Central, 5 p.m. (Pittsburgh Tournament); Sept. 17 vs. New Mexico, 1 p.m. (Pittsburgh Tournament); Sept. 17 at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (Pittsburgh Tournament); Sept. 20 vs. Delaware State, 7 p.m.; Sept. 23 at *Towson, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24 at Pennsylvania, 4 p.m.; Sept. 30 at *Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 at *Hofstra, 1 p.m.; Oct. 7 vs. *James Madison, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 vs. *George Mason, 1 p.m.; Oct. 14 at *William & Mary, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15 at *Virginia Commonwealth, 7 p.m.; Oct. 21 vs. *Georgia State, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22, vs. *UNC Wilmington, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29 vs. *Towson, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 vs. *Hofstra, 7 p.m.; Nov. 5 vs. *Northeastern, 7 p.m.; Nov. 11 at *James Madison, 7 p.m.; Nov. 12 at *George Mason, 5 p.m.; Nov. 18-21 CAA Championship (at Highest Seed)
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