Tulane Set to Face 6 RPI Top 100 Teams in 2018

  0 volleymob | May 21st, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Courtesy: Tulane Athletics

NEW ORLEANS – Tulane volleyball will host two non-conference tournaments, travel to Georgia Tech and Rutgers for invitationals and play six teams that ranked in last season’s NCAA top 100 RPI, head coach Jim Barnes announced today when he rolled out the team’s 2018 schedule.

“We’ve brought in probably the best recruiting class in program history, and we’re going to compete much better within the conference,” Barnes said. “The conference is going to be stronger, but we’re going to be in that top half. This year is where we’re going to start making our stand and build our name within this conference. It starts with us making a big push for the conference championship this year.”

The Green Wave’s annual preseason intrasquad match – the Olive & Blue Scrimmage – is set for 4 p.m. Saturday, August 18 inside Hertz Center, one weekend ahead of the start of the regular season.

Tulane then opens the season with the first of two tournaments inside Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse, hosting the I-10 Challenge on Aug. 24-25. The Green Wave play UTEP at 7 p.m. Friday before facing Incarnate Word and Louisiana-Lafayette at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, respectively.

The Wave play host once again in September, welcoming Little Rock, Villanova and Clemson to New Orleans for the the second tournament inside Fogelman in Devlin – the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic. Tulane squares off against Little Rock and Clemson at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, respectively, before closing out the tournament at 2 p.m. Saturday against Clemson.

“It’s a rarity that schools can host two tournaments, but we, being in New Orleans, can because schools want to come here to play us,” Barnes said. “It’s a big advantage for us to be able to play at home the first weekend, and the I-10 Challenge is a great way to kick off the season. Our big one at home is the Allstate Sugar Bowl tournament, where we’ll host Clemson, Villanova and Little Rock.”

The first road trip of the year takes the Green Wave to Atlanta, for the Georgia Tech Invitational. Tulane plays South Alabama and Wofford at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, respectively, before taking on Alabama State at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31. A 6 p.m. Friday showdown against host and Atlantic Coast Conference member Georgia Tech closes the weekend.

The following weekend, Tulane heads north to Piscataway, New Jersey, for the Rutgers Invitational. The Green Wave will play Navy, Howard and host Rutgers, a member of the Big Ten, across the two-day competition (Sept. 7-8).

“Going to Rutgers is going to be great to play a Big 10 school and some really good schools in Navy and Howard,” Barnes said. “That tournament will probably be our toughest of the four. We go to Georgia Tech to play an ACC school, and there are some good teams there, too. The non-conference schedule is much more challenging than last season’s to really get us ready for conference play.”

Tulane rounds out its 12-match non-conference schedule against in-state opponents New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana, completing what Barnes believes is a challenging but all-important part of the season ahead of conference play.

“These are significant games to play and win,” Barnes said. “Number one, we’re building a resume that can help us get into the NCAA tournament. The second part is the mental side of beating big names, like an Oklahoma last year, gives us a ton of confidence. Georgia Tech, Clemson and Villanova – these are names that the team knows are good programs. We have the talent to beat these teams, and we’re going to really challenge them.”

The 18-match American Athletic Conference portion of the schedule begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 in Wichita, Kansas. Tulane travels to face last season’s conference champion Wichita State before swinging down to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 match against Tulsa.

The first in-conference home match is against UCF at 12 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. USF comes into town after, playing Tulane at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.

The Green Wave travel to Memphis to open the month of October before returning home to face SMU and Houston. Tulane makes its trip to the northeast the next weekend, playing at UConn on Oct. 19 and at Temple on Oct. 21, and then hosts ECU and Cincinnati on Oct. 26 and Oct. 28, respectively.

November’s schedule includes trips to Houston, SMU, Cincinnati and ECU. Tulane hosts Temple and UConn on Nov. 9 and Nov. 11, respectively, at Fogelman in Devlin and celebrates Senior Day against Memphis at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, marking the close of the regular season.

“We’re excited about what we can do this year,” Barnes said. “We’re going to have to prove a lot because, obviously, we didn’t do well in conference last year. We have a very young and talented group, and we’re hungry to show what kind of program we’re going to be this year.”

2018 Tulane Volleyball Schedule

Aug 24 vs. UTEP (New Orleans, La.)
Aug 25 vs. Incarnate Word (New Orleans, La.)
Aug 25 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (New Orleans, La.)

Aug 28 vs.  New Orleans

Georgia Tech Invitational (Atlanta, Ga.)
Aug 30 vs. South Alabama
Aug 30 vs. Wofford
Aug 31 vs. Alabama State
Aug 31 at Georgia Tech

Rutgers Invitational (Piscataway, NJ)
Sep 7 vs. Navy
Sep 7 at Rutgers
Sep 8 vs. Howard

Sep 11 at Southeastern Louisiana

Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic (New Orleans, La.)
Sep 14 vs Little Rock
Sep 14 vs. Villanova
Sep 15 vs. Clemson

Sep 21 at Wichita State*

Sep 23 at Tulsa*

Sep 28 vs UCF*

Sep 30 vs. USF*

Oct 5 at Memphis*

Oct 12 vs. SMU*

Oct 14 vs. Houston*

Oct 19 at UConn*

Oct 21 at Temple*

Oct 26 vs ECU*

Oct 28 vs Cincinnati*

Nov 2 at Houston*

Nov 4 at SMU*

Nov 9 vs Temple*

Nov 11 vs UConn*

Nov 16 at Cincinnati*

Nov 18 at ECU*

Nov 21 vs Memphis*


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