Feb. 16, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - After a solid 2009 season, the Auburn volleyball team and head coach Wade Benson announced the upcoming 2010 fall schedule Tuesday. Highlighting the schedule will be matches against eight teams that participated in the 2009 NCAA tournament, as well as three tournaments and 14 home matches.
"Our overall strength of schedule this upcoming season is very high," head coach Wade Benson said. "We're facing handful of NCAA tournament participants in the preseason and the SEC will be much stronger top to bottom."
The eight NCAA participants Auburn will face include: Middle Tennessee, Duke, Cincinnati, College of Charleston, LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida.
Auburn opens the 2010 season at home in the Student Activities Center, playing host to the two-day War Eagle Invitational on August 27-28. The team will face Georgia Southern, Troy, Tennessee State and Bethune-Cookman.
The Tigers follow with another two-day tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University. The September 4-5 tournament features Middle Tennessee, Auburn, Duke and Southern Miss. The Tigers stick to the road for a weekday match at Troy on Sept. 7.
In the final tournament of the early season, Auburn will travel to Charleston, S.C., for the College of Charleston Tournament, Sept. 10-11. The Tigers will face host College of Charleston, Oregon State and Cincinnati.
Auburn opens its SEC schedule on the road as the team travels to 2009 SEC regular season champion LSU on Sept. 17 and Arkansas on Sept. 19.
The team returns to the Student Activities Center on Sept. 24 to face the SEC East champion Kentucky and then follows with a match-up against Tennessee on Sept. 26.
The Tigers host three more SEC home matches against Mississippi State (Oct. 1), in-state rival Alabama (Oct. 3) and Georgia (Oct. 6). Auburn then takes to the road for matches at Ole Miss (Oct. 8), Florida (Oct. 15) and South Carolina (Oct. 17).
The second half of SEC play begins the following week as the Tigers host Arkansas (Oct. 22) and LSU (Oct. 24) and hit the road to face Tennessee (Oct. 29) and Kentucky (Oct. 31). Three matches with South Carolina (Nov. 5), Florida (Nov. 7) and Ole Miss (14) closes out Auburn's home schedule.
Auburn wraps up the regular season with three-straight away matches starting at Alabama on Nov. 19. The Tigers are at Mississippi State on Nov. 21 and close out the season at Georgia on Nov. 22.
"We're really looking forward on improving our finish in the SEC West last season," Benson said. "Matches to highlight for us are the ones at LSU and Arkansas. These will be the teams to beat in the West and we're anxious for the challenge."
The Tigers are coming off one of the team's most successful seasons in 10 years, finishing with a 16-15 overall mark and an 8-12 record in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn concluded the year second in the SEC West and tied for fifth overall in the league. The 16 overall wins and eight SEC victories were the most the team has had since 1999.