The Valparaiso volleyball team will challenge itself against a number of BCS squads, including Big Ten foe Iowa at the Athletics-Recreation Center on April 9, during its 2011 spring schedule, as announced this afternoon by head coach Carin Avery.
“We are excited about our tough spring schedule, and we know that this will help us to achieve a high level of play next fall,” said Avery. “We have high standards that we set for ourselves every fall, we have a lot of returning players that are coming back and we are looking forward to competing again to help us reach those standards next fall.”
The Crusaders open the spring schedule at the Great Lakes Center Collegiate Challenge in Aurora, Ill. on Saturday, March 26 as part of a field which includes Nebraska, Wisconsin, Marquette, Michigan State and Louisville, among others. Valpo then plays the next Saturday in the Dunes College Tournament, held at the Dunes Operation Center in Rolling Prairie, Ind.
The third Saturday of the spring campaign sees Valpo host Iowa at the ARC on April 9. The two squads will participate in drills in the morning before competing in a five-set match beginning at 1:30 p.m. The match is open to the public free of charge.
“There are very good teams at both tourneys the first two weekends, and it will allow us to play at the highest level,” said Avery. “We are also very excited about a Big Ten team coming here to the ARC to play us. An entire day of drills and scrimmage against a high-level opponent on your own floor is a great thing for our program.”
The spring season concludes the next Saturday, April 16, as the Crusaders move outdoors. Valpo will participate in a sand doubles tournament in Mishawaka, Ind.
“We decided to play our last tourney in the sand against Notre Dame and other schools,” said Avery. “Focusing on doubles makes you a much better all-around player and helps you understand the game at a higher level. It is also fun for the girls to get out of the gym while becoming better players.”