NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State volleyball Head Coach Kathy Bullock announced another challenging schedule for the Tigers in 2016, a slate that includes five matches versus NCAA Tournament teams and another four against teams that finished as their conference runner-up.
“Putting together the schedule was based upon trying to prepare us for the road to the championship in 2016,” Bullock said. “We wanted to be up against some of the teams who play high-level volleyball so we can make sure we are getting in a rhythm of playing high-level volleyball. We chose to compete at the highest level that we can compete in this year.”
Coming off a 16-14 record and a trip to the Ohio Valley Conference Semifinals, the Tigers will play a total of 32 regular season matches leading up to the OVC Tournament in mid-November. This year’s schedule includes 16 non-conference matches against teams from 10 different conferences highlighted by NCAA Tournament participants Kansas State, Michigan and Jackson State.
TSU will kick off the season on Aug. 26-27 at the ISTAP Collegiate Cup 1 in Montgomery, Ala. In the two-day span, the Tigers will face Texas Southern, SWAC Champion Jackson State, Alabama A&M and SWAC runner-up Alabama State.
September opens with TSU competing in tournaments at Kansas State (Sept. 2-3) and Butler (Sept. 9-10). The Tigers are set to take on Georgia Tech and NCAA teams Kansas State and Michigan in Manhattan, Kan., before battling the likes of Butler and Wright State in Indianapolis.
The home opener is scheduled for Sept. 13 versus Alabama A&M at Kean Hall at 11 a.m. for Kid’s Day.
In the final regular season tournament, TSU makes a trip to Chattanooga for the Scenic City Showdown on Sept. 16-17. Tennessee State’s opponents will include Ole Miss from the SEC, Southern Conference runner-up Chattanooga and Sun Belt Conference runner-up Appalachian State.
The Tigers jump into Ohio Valley Conference play against defending champion Belmont on Sept. 20 on the road and close out the month with OVC tests at SIUE (Sept. 24) and versus Tennessee Tech (Sept. 28) and Jacksonville State (Sept. 30).
To kick off October, TSU will host Conference USA opponents Rice (Oct. 1) and Middle Tennessee (Oct. 5). The next five matches will be away from Kean Hall as the Tigers travel to Eastern Kentucky (Oct. 7), Morehead State (Oct. 8), Alabama A&M (Oct. 11), UT Martin (Oct. 14) and Southeast Missouri (Oct. 15).
The Tigers will close the regular season with six of their final eight games at home. Murray State, which won the OVC regular season title a year ago, will begin the stretch on Oct. 21. The rest of October concludes with home matches against Austin Peay (Oct. 22), Belmont (Oct. 25) and Eastern Illinois (Oct. 29).
In the final four regular season matches of the season, the Tigers play on the road at Tennessee Tech (Nov. 4) and Jacksonville State (Nov. 5) before home matches versus Morehead State (Nov. 11) and Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 12).
BY THE NUMBERS
32 Regular Season Matches
16 Non-Conference Matches (From 10 Different Conferences)
16 OVC Matches
11 Home Matches
13 True Road Matches
8 Neutral Site Matches
5 Matches Versus NCAA Tournament Teams - Jackson State, Kansas State, Michigan, Belmont (2x)
SWAC (6) – Texas Southern, Jackson State, Alabama A&M (3x), Alabama State
ACC (1) – Georgia Tech
Big 12 (1) – Kansas State
Big 10 (1) – Michigan
Big East (1) – Butler
Horizon (1) – Wright State
SEC (1) – Ole Miss
Southern (1) – Chattanooga
Sun Belt (1) – Appalachian State
Conference USA (2) – Rice, Middle Tennessee
* NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS BOLD
Season Opener: Aug. 26 vs. Texas Southern - 10 a.m.
Home Opener: Sept. 13 vs. Alabama A&M – 11 a.m.
OVC Opener: Sept. 20 at Belmont – 6 p.m.
OVC Tournament: Nov. 17-21