CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team will look to keep the momentum going from last season's record-breaking year with an early road heavy 2013 schedule. Last season the team finished with school records in overall wins (21) and Southland wins (12) while finishing the season in third place of the league standings, also another best in program history.
"I really like the 2013 schedule," Head Coach Tony Graystone said. "We're going to play some established programs on the road to get us ready for Southland Conference play, and we're definitely going to have to play well to get some wins."
The Islanders kick the season off in Denver, traveling to the Pioneer Classic for a two-day tournament starting on Aug. 30. In addition to the Pioneers, the Islanders will also take on UC Irvine and Air Force. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will continue competition at the Rice Invitational I the following weekend in Houston against Rice, LSU and Arkansas-Little Rock on Sept. 6-7.
The Islanders will then return home for their first home match of the season at the Dugan Wellness Center on Monday, Sept. 9 against UTSA. After that match, the Islanders will wrap their pre-conference schedule when they trek north to Arlington to take part in the Hilton Maverick Classic, hosted by UT Arlington. The first match is scheduled against Mississippi Valley State on Sept. 13, with the Islanders set to finish the tournament on Sept. 14 against UTSA and UT Arlington.
"The schedule is extremely road heavy in the beginning, so it will be important for us to get off to a fast start and build confidence early," Graystone added. "Even though we're on the road for the first five weekends, this team can handle it, and the good news is that we have a lot of home matches at the end of the season, including the Southland Conference tournament."
The Islanders will open the Southland Conference schedule with two road matches. The first match of the season will be in Lake Charles, La. against McNeese State. Two days later, the team will take on first-year Southland Conference member Houston Baptist University in Houston.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will return home to host Texas-Pan American on Friday, Sept. 20 before traveling to Huntsville and Beaumont for matches vs. Sam Houston State and Lamar on Sept. 26 and Sept. 28, respectively.
The Islanders will host first-year league members, University of Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian University, for a two-match homestand on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5 before heading on the road for a three-match roadtrip to Louisiana. First up for the Islanders is the University of New Orleans, who are also in their first-year with the Southland, on Oct. 10. The team will travel to Hammond, La. to take on Southeastern La. on Oct. 12 before finishing their roadtrip in Thibodaux, La. on Oct. 14 against Nicholls State.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will then play host to eight of its final 10 opponents of the regular season, including its final six, with matches against Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State, Prairie View A&M, Nicholls State, McNeese State, Houston Baptist, Lamar and Sam Houston State.
The Islanders begin their homestand against Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19, respectively, before wrapping their final roadtrip of the season in Tulsa, Okla. and Conway, Ark. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will take on Oral Roberts on Oct. 24 before facing the defending Southland Conference champions Central Arkansas on Oct. 26.
The final six matches of the regular season will be at the Dugan Wellness Center. First up is Prairie View A&M for a Tuesday matchup on Oct. 29. The Islanders will then face five teams for the second time in conference play.
The first return match of the season will be on Oct. 31 when the Islanders host Nicholls State. The team will follow with a match against McNeese State on Nov. 2 before arriving home a week later to host Houston Baptist on Nov. 9. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will finish the regular season the following weekend against Lamar and Sam Houston State on Nov. 13 and Nov. 16, respectively.
Following the regular season, the 2013 Southland Conference Tournament will be hosted by Texas A&M - Corpus Christi on Nov. 22-24.
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