BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech Athletic Department has announced the release of the 2011 volleyball schedule. The Hokies have a total of 31 matches scheduled for the season, 19 of which will be hosted in Cassell Coliseum. Tech comes off its best season in school history, culminating in its first ever bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies, who have an all-time winning percentage of .701 (303-129) at home, hope the heavy home schedule will help ensure another successful season and second trip to the postseason.
The schedule features several top teams, including three teams who finished in the top 25 in the final AVCA poll of the season (No. 18 Duke, No. 23 Indiana and No. 24 Tennessee), seven teams which finished in the top 50 in the final RPI (#13 Duke, #15 Tennessee, #21 North Carolina, #24 Indiana, #26 Miami, #31 Florida State, #39 Western Kentucky), and 11 teams who made the NCAA Tournament, including Elite Eight qualifier Duke and Sweet 16 qualifier Indiana.
“I think we are playing a very competitive schedule,” said head coach Chris Riley. “It should set us up and get us ready for a competitive ACC schedule. We have three out of our four tournaments at home in front of a great crowd and we know that we have a great home court advantage, so we are looking forward to this year’s volleyball season and taking steps to get back to the NCAA Tournament and get past the Round of 32.”
Tech opens the season at home, hosting Cleveland State, High Point and Indiana on Aug. 26-27 in the Hokie Tournament. The Hokies have not faced Cleveland State or High Point since 2003 and will meet Indiana for the first time. They will then hit the road for their only away tournament of the regular season, facing Ohio, Western Kentucky and host Kentucky in the Kentucky Tournament on Sept. 2-3. All three teams made the 2010 NCAA Tournament and ranked in the top 80 in the final RPI. Tech has never beaten Ohio or Kentucky, but defeated Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky., last season.
The Hokies will then return home to host the Hokie Invite on Sept. 9-10 and the Hokie Classic on Sept. 16-17. The Hokie Invite will feature American, Seton Hall and Tennessee, the only non-ACC team who took down Tech in the 2010 regular season. The Hokie Classic will bring Chattanooga and Connecticut to the Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies will also open ACC play at the Classic, hosting the rival ‘Hoos at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16.
Following the Hokie Classic, Tech will move exclusively to ACC play, starting with a visit from powerhouse teams Miami and Florida State on Sept. 23-24. The Hokies will then head up north to face Boston College and Maryland, before returning home for Wake Forest and Duke. As is customary, the Hokies will face every ACC team twice, once at home and once away, except for one travel pair, which this year will be Georgia Tech and Clemson, who they will only face at home on Oct. 21 and 23. Thus Virginia Tech will play 11 ACC matches at home and nine on the road. Tech’s longest road trip will be a four-match stint from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5, immediately followed by a four-match homestand. The Hokies will then conclude the regular season on Nov. 25 with a trip to Virginia.
For the complete 2011 schedule, click here.
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