July 13, 2011
2011 Schedule in PDF Format
AUBURN, Ala. -
Auburn will have 17 matches against teams that made the 2010 NCAA Tournament as part of its 30-match 2011 volleyball schedule, which was released Wednesday by first-year head coach Rick Nold
The Tigers, coming off one of the best seasons in school history, will play eleven home matches at the Student Activities Center, including 10 clashes with Southeastern Conference foes.
"We are very excited for this upcoming season," Nold said. "I think this preseason schedule will be a great challenge for this team and should really have us prepared as we enter conference play. Five of the ten preseason matches are against teams that ranked in the top 40 of the RPI and most of the others are teams that have won their respective conferences and competed in recent NCAA Tournaments."
Auburn opens the season with the first of two trips to Gainesville, Fla., where the Tigers will play in the Active Ankle Challenge the last weekend of August. A pair of Atlantic Coast Conference foes await the Tigers, who will face North Carolina (Aug. 26) and Boston College (Aug. 27) in the event. The Tigers will then play their first home match on Aug. 30 as they welcome Alabama A&M to campus for a 7 p.m. contest.
September opens with a trip to the MT Blue Raider Bash in Murfreesboro, Tenn., where three NCAA teams from a year ago - Austin Peay, Missouri and host Middle Tennessee - will await Auburn, as will Florida International. The following weekend - Sept. 9-10 - sees the Tigers head to Miami for the Hurricane Invitational, where they will face host Miami along with Oklahoma and Florida A&M to wrap up the non-conference schedule.
The Southeastern Conference saw six of its 11 volleyball-playing member schools earn invitations to the 2010 NCAA Tournament, showing that the league continues to assert itself as a power on the national stage.
"As always, our SEC schedule will be very demanding," Nold said. "The SEC is regularly one of the top conferences in the country and I expect this year to be no different. Last season we were one of six SEC teams that competed in the NCAA Tourney so we know the hard work and dedication it will take to not only repeat that but to advance farther in the tournament."
SEC play gets underway with trips to Kentucky (Sept. 16) and Tennessee (Sept. 18). The following weekend, Alabama visits the Student Activities Center for the home opener on Sept. 23, followed by a match with Ole Miss on Sept. 25. A four-game conference homestand wraps up with visits from Florida (Sept. 30) and South Carolina (Oct. 2).
The Tigers then embark on a four-match road trip with a midweek date at Georgia (Oct. 5) followed by trips to Mississippi State (Oct. 9), Arkansas (Oct. 14) and LSU (Oct. 16), wrapping up the first trip through the SEC. The second half of the double round-robin slate begins Oct. 21 as Tennessee makes the trip to Auburn; Kentucky will visit two days later. October then comes to a close with trips to Ole Miss (Oct. 28) and Alabama (Oct. 30).
Four of the Tigers' final six matches are at home, beginning with LSU (Nov. 4) and Arkansas (Nov. 6). After a Friday off, Mississippi State comes to town on Nov. 13. The final road trip of the season sends Auburn to Florida (Nov. 18) and South Carolina (Nov. 20), and the Georgia Bulldogs come to town on Nov. 23 to close out the regular season.
NCAA Tournament play takes place at campus sites the first two weekends of December. The NCAA Championship is set for Dec. 15 & 17 in San Antonio, Texas.
Auburn will look to duplicate its success from the 2010 season when the Tigers compiled a 21-13 overall record, including an 11-9 mark in SEC play. The Tigers earned the first NCAA Tournament berth in school history, traveling to Lincoln, Neb., for the first two rounds where they earned a 3-0 sweep over Missouri State before falling to the host Huskers.