This year marks a new season, a new team, and for the first time in over 30 years a brand new conference for the women’s volleyball team—and yesterday, its schedule for the 2013 season was released.
The season kicks off with the University of Buffalo Invite the last weekend of August, followed by the Patriot Invitational at George Mason. The following weekend, the Owls come home to host the Temple Invitation starting on Sept. 20, which will be the fourth straight season that they will be holding the event.
The start of conference play in the new American Athletic Conference starts with a big road test against Cincinnati and Louisville. The Cardinals are coming off of a 30-4 2012 campaign and finished 17th in the Division I coaches poll. The Owls then play five straight home games, opening with Memphis on Oct. 4. The schedule also includes a five game road trip in which the Owls play three teams with better records then they themselves had last season. They play their final two matches in late November against the University of Central Florida and the University of Southern Florida.
“Our non-conference schedule is as competitive as it was last year, if not more so,” third-year head coach Bakeer Ganes said in a press release. “Trips to Buffalo, George Mason, and Penn as well as our home tournament on the fourth weekend will really prepare us for conference play. We open our American schedule with Cincinnati and Louisville which are probably the top two teams in the league. This schedule will be very competitive and very challenging, but also very exciting”.
The Owls are coming into 2013 ranked the seventh most improved team in Division I, as they won 11 more games last season than they did the year prior. They finished 19-11, good enough for fifth place in the conference and a trip to the conference tournament for the first time since 2009.