The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team has complete the schedule for the upcoming 2010 season for its second year under head coach Tony Graystone. The team will travel for two tournaments in Starkville, Miss. and Flagstaff, Ariz. to open the season before returning home to host its own tournament.
"I think the schedule we put together is appropriate for the youth of our team and coming off the season we had last year," said Graystone. "We're definitely playing some teams that finished higher in the RPI than us last year but are also teams that we feel like are the level we are trying to get to right now.
"If we can get through the pre-conference schedule in good shape, it will be a successful way to start and to get ready for conference play."
The Islanders will begin the year at the Mississippi State Maroon Classic on Aug. 27-28 where they will play Montana, Arkansas-Little Rock, Mississippi State and Austin Peay. The next weekend, they play in the Northern Arizona Fiesta Bowl Tournament on Sept. 3-4 against Northern Arizona, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Rider. They then play a single game in Edinburg against Texas-Pan American on Sept. 7 before opening their home slate.
On Sept. 10-11, A&M-Corpus Christi will host the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach Islander Classic in the Dugan Wellness Center. It will be the first time that the Islanders have had full use of the facility for the entire season as they played just four there last year.
"Getting into our facility fully with the locker room and training room while playing and practicing in here everyday will be big for us," said Graystone. "We finally feel like we will be able to get into our facility fulltime."
The teams in the tournament will include the Islanders, Sam Houston State, Villanova, Houston Baptist and Texas Southern. On the 10th, they will play Sam Houston State and Texas Southern and will complete their match on the 11th against Houston Baptist and Villanova. Following the tournament, they have just one more pre-conference game against Prairie View A&M on Sept. 21 before beginning Southland play.
"It's nice for us to get a lot more home matches this year and bring back our home tournament," said Graystone. "That will be an exciting weekend and it will be a lot nicer to be on campus a lot more and let the fans and students watch this next generation of Islanders do their thing."
Home matches against last year's Southland Conference Champion Texas State on Sept. 24 and against UT Arlington on Sept. 25 have the Islanders playing seven straight home matches before taking to the road again. They have 14 home matches this season compared to just nine all of last season. The addition of the home tournament helped up the total for the Islanders after they skipped hosting it last season.
The final home matches of the season will be against Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 4 and Sam Houston State on Nov. 6 in Dugan. The season finale will be against Texas State on Nov. 13 in San Marcos.