2009 Volleyball Schedule Released
April 23, 2009
CINCINNATI - Xavier volleyball head coach Floyd Deaton announced the 2009 scheduled Thursday, April 23, highlighted by the Xavier Invitational that will take place Sept. 4-6 at Cintas Center. The schedule features four teams that made it to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Two of those teams received votes and another ranked in the top 25 of the final 2008 AVCA poll.
"This is one of the toughest schedules Xavier has ever played. Looking at teams such as Middle Tennessee, Kansas, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio State, that's just a few of the challenges on this year's slate," said Deaton. "It's a competitive schedule but we scheduled it this way because we think we have the players to compete at this level. They say the cream comes to the top so we'll roll the ball out and see what happens."
The Musketeers will kick off the 2009 campaign with a trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., for the Middle Tennessee Invitational. The host Blue Raiders made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, the third consecutive season the team has advanced that far in postseason play, and was receiving votes in the final AVCA poll of the season. XU will open the weekend with a match against OVC tournament runners-up Murray State on Friday followed by a doubleheader against Kansas in the morning and MTSU Saturday night.
September 4-6 Xavier will open play at home with its Xavier Invitational. The Musketeers will play host to Tennessee, who finished third in the SEC and earned an NCCA Tournament berth, Notre Dame and Michigan, who made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 a year ago. Former assistant coach Amanda Ault will be returning to Cintas Center for the first time with her new team, the Michigan Wolverines, as UM opens the tournament against Tennessee.
The following weekend the Musketeers will head south to Raleigh, N.C., to participate in the NC State Classic Sept. 11-12. XU will face Dartmouth and George Mason on the first day of the tourney and then play a Big East doubleheader on Saturday with matchups against DePaul and Rutgers.
To close out the tournament season, Xavier will take part in Ohio State's Sports Imports Classic Sept. 18-19. The Musketeers will play Bowling Green, who finished 2008 with a 25-9 mark which was its third consecutive 20+ win season, in between playing Cleveland State and host OSU.
Atlantic 10 conference play begins on Sept. 25 will trip up I-75 to take on intrastate rival Dayton followed by a non-conference match at Western Kentucky on Sept. 27. The Hilltoppers were 26-10 a year ago, 2008 NCAA Tournament participants and received votes in the final AVCA poll.
"In our conference, from the bottom to the top, it is much, much better," commented Deaton. "If you look at teams like Fordham and Rhode Island and then obviously the top with Saint Louis, Dayton and Temple, it is going to be a great schedule."
The Musketeers will kick off October with La Salle on the 2nd and Temple on the 3rd at Cintas Center for their first A-10 home matches of the season. The following weekend, XU will travel to the northeast for matches at Rhode Island on Oct. 9 and at Fordham Oct. 10.
Back home on the 16th, Xavier will host the 2008 A-10 Regular Season and Tournament Champion Saint Louis. The Billikens finished last season ranked No. 21 in the final AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll after making it to the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Duquesne will come to Cincinnati on Oct. 17 to round out the weekend.
One last non-conference match is set for Oct. 20 at Wright State. The Raiders made it to the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tournament in 2008 and finished the year with a 15-16 mark. That weekend, the Musketeers will continue their three-game road stretch, stopping off first in D.C., for a contest at George Washington before heading south to Charlotte, N.C., to take on the 49ers.
The next two weekends will be split with a home match on Friday and an away contest on Saturday or Sunday. The regular season will conclude with two home matches for XU, including senior night on Nov. 15 when the Musketeers will host Charlotte.
This coming season, Dayton will be the host site for the 2009 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship which will be held Nov. 20-22. The top team from each division automatically qualifies for the event and then the next four best teams will compete for the A-10's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.