Courtesy: West Virginia Athletics
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Director of Athletics Shane Lyons announced the 2018 West Virginia University volleyball schedule on Monday.
The slate features 15 home games for the Mountaineers, including a pair of tournaments set to take place inside the WVU Coliseum. Eleven matches will be played against opponents who qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships, while five matches will be played against teams who received bids to the 2017 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
“We’re looking forward to a very tough 2018 schedule with this young group,” fourth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “We will find out very early where we stand, as we compete against some of the top teams in the country. We travel to BYU at the end of August for a three-match tournament against NCAA-qualifying teams. Then there is our conference schedule, which always presents us with a big challenge, as four Big 12 teams also qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.
“It’s going to be an exciting year. There are so many great teams coming to town. We open our schedule with the annual WVU Invitational in August. Then you add another home tournament in mid-September, followed by a demanding Big 12 schedule. Those are some great matchups for our fans to come out and watch. We’re going to need Mountaineer Nation’s full support at the WVU Coliseum this year.”
The Mountaineers unofficially open the season on Aug. 18, as the squad squares off against Duquesne in an exhibition match. West Virginia embarks on the 2018 home slate a week later, welcoming a trio of opponents to the WVU Coliseum for the WVU Invitational on Aug. 24-25. The Mountaineers, who are coming off a 21-win season and an NIVC Semifinal appearance, will face Georgia Southern and UConn on Friday and Wright State on Saturday.
Following opening weekend at home, WVU hits the road for a pair of tournaments, starting with the BYU Invitational in Provo, Utah, from Aug. 30 – Sept. 1. While in Utah, WVU is scheduled to take on a trio of teams who finished the 2017 season ranked in the top 25 of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll.
The Mountaineers will face the host Cougars, who finished No. 9 in the final AVCA Coaches Poll after reaching the regional semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, on Thursday, before taking on Wichita State on Friday and Stanford on Saturday. The Shockers completed the 2017 season ranked No. 23 after qualifying for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, while Stanford checked in at No. 4 following an NCAA Semifinal appearance.
West Virginia will remain on the road, as the Mountaineers travel south to Ft. Myers, Florida, for a two-day tournament at Florida Gulf Coast from Sept. 7-8. WVU opens play against Western Illinois on Friday afternoon. The squad concludes play on Saturday, as it takes on Albany, a 2017 NIVC-qualifying team, and host FGCU before heading back to Morgantown for its final tournament of the season.
The bulk of the nonconference slate wraps up in Morgantown with a three-match tournament on Sept. 14-15. West Virginia welcomes Morehead State, Penn and Wake Forest to the Mountaineer Classic, as the squad squares off with the Morehead State Eagles on Friday before facing the Penn Quakers on Saturday morning. Saturday evening’s finale will be a showdown between the Mountaineers and the Demon Deacons.
West Virginia opens Big 12 play on Sept. 19, when Iowa State comes to town. The Cyclones, ranked No. 25 in the final AVCA Coaches Poll in 2017, were one of four Big 12 teams who qualified for the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
After a trip to Lubbock, Texas, to face NIVC runner-up Texas Tech on Sept. 22, the Mountaineers will return to the WVU Coliseum to host two straight matches. Home contests against Kansas State (Sept. 26) and perennial national contender Texas (Sept. 29) will close out the month of September.
October kicks off with a match at Kansas on Oct. 3. Last season, the Mountaineers took down No. 14 Kansas for their first-ever win over a top-25 program.
On Oct. 9, West Virginia will make the short drive to Washington, D.C., to take on George Washington in a nonconference matchup.
Resuming Big 12 play, the Mountaineers will play host to Baylor, a second-round contender in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, on Oct. 13, before hitting the road for a pair of matches at TCU (Oct. 18) and Oklahoma (Oct. 20). The team caps the month by welcoming Texas Tech to the WVU Coliseum on Oct. 24, followed by a Halloween match against Kansas on Oct. 31.
Then, WVU hits the road for four of its seven matches in November, starting Nov. 3, when the Mountaineers travel to Manhattan, Kansas, for a return trip to Kansas State. The squad returns to Morgantown, closing out its nonconference slate against in-state rival Marshall on Nov. 7.
After traveling to Ames, Iowa, to face ISU on Nov. 10, WVU closes out its home slate with a pair of matches against TCU (Nov. 14) and Oklahoma (Nov. 17). The team will then spend the week of Thanksgiving in Texas, as the Mountaineers first make their way to Waco to face the Lady Bears (Nov. 21) before capping the regular season in Austin with the Longhorns (Nov. 24).
Visit the schedule page on WVUsports.com for updated match times. All times listed are Eastern and subject to change. Tickets for all home matches can be purchased at WVUGAME.com, by calling 1-800-WVU-GAME or by visiting the Mountaineer Ticket Office at the Gold Gate of the WVU Coliseum.
2018 West Virginia Schedule
Aug 18 vs Duquesne
Aug. 24 vs. Georgia Southern
Aug. 24 vs. Connecticut
Aug. 25 vs. Wright State
Aug. 30 at BYU
Aug. 31 vs. Wichita State
Sept. 1 vs. Stanford
Florida Gulf Coast Tournament
Sept. 7 vs. Western Illinois
Sept. 8 vs. Albany
Sept. 8 at Florida Gulf Coast
Sept. 14 vs. Morehead State
Sept. 15 vs. Penn
Sept. 15 vs. Wake Forest
Sept. 19 vs. Iowa State*
Sept. 22 at Texas Tech*
Sept. 26 vs. Kansas State*
Sept. 29 vs. Texas*
Oct. 3 at Kansas*
Oct. 9 at George Washington
Oct. 13 vs. Baylor*
Oct. 18 at TCU*
Oct. 20 at Oklahoma*
Oct. 24 vs. Texas Tech*
Oct. 31 vs. Kansas*
Nov. 3 at Kansas State*
Nov. 7 vs. Marshall
Nov. 10 at Iowa State*
Nov. 14 vs. TCU*
Nov. 17 vs. Oklahoma*
Nov. 21 at Baylor*
Nov 24 at Texas*
* Big 12 match