The Valparaiso University volleyball program announced today its schedule for the upcoming 2018 season, a slate which features 12 home regular season matches at the ARC.
For the first time, Valpo will take advantage of the opportunity to play an exhibition match prior to the start of the regular season – a rule change which was implemented last year – as the Crusaders welcome Milwaukee to the ARC on Aug. 18. The regular season begins for Valpo at the EIU Panther Invitational Aug. 24-25, with matchups against Fresno State, St. Francis (Pa.) and Iona in addition to host Eastern Illinois.
The next weekend sees the Crusaders make the trip to Mt. Pleasant, Mich. for Central Michigan’s Chippewa Invitational, a field which also includes DePaul and La Salle. Valpo will head to Michigan, which won 21 matches and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, for a non-conference matchup on Sept. 4 before traveling to the U.S. Air Force Academy for the Amy Svoboda Memorial Classic Sept. 7-8, where the Crusaders will also face Cal State Bakersfield and Cal Baptist.
Valpo then opens the home campaign with the Crusader Classic at the ARC on Sept. 14-15, welcoming Cornell, Western Illinois and Wright State to town. For the Crusaders, it is their 10th home in-season tournament in the last 17 years and they’ll look to continue their success in the events, as they own a 26-5 record over the previous nine. The non-conference schedule comes to a close on Sept. 18 with a quick trip to Purdue Fort Wayne.
The double round-robin Missouri Valley Conference schedule opens up for the Crusaders on the road at Indiana State on Sept. 21. Valpo will host UNI, which earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round last season, on Sept. 29 and will take on Missouri State, which went undefeated last year in MVC play and also won the conference tournament, at the ARC on Oct. 29. The regular season wraps up at Southern Illinois on Nov. 17, and the 2018 MVC Tournament will be contested at Missouri State Nov. 22-24.