Valparaiso University volleyball head coach Carin Avery announced today the Crusaders’ schedule for the upcoming 2017 season as Valpo prepares for its first season of action in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Valpo will open the season Aug. 25-26 with a short trip over to Notre Dame for the Golden Dome Invitational, kicking off the season on the 25th against the Fighting Irish, who are coming off of a 22-win season. The Crusaders will also face New Mexico State – which won 24 matches last season and captured the WAC regular season title – and Rhode Island at Notre Dame.
Early-season action continues for the Crusaders at South Dakota State’s Jackrabbits Invitational Sept. 1-2, featuring matches against Cal State Bakersfield and Northern Arizona – a 24-win program last year – in addition to SDSU. The next weekend sees Valpo travel east to Ithaca, N.Y. for the Cornell Invitational Sept. 8-9, with matches against St. John’s and Binghamton before closing the tournament against the host Big Red.
The home slate opens with a non-conference matchup at the ARC against Eastern Illinois Sept. 13 before the Crusaders face their last tournament action of the season Sept. 15 at Western Illinois’ Buffalo Wild Wings Invitational. Valpo will take on McNeese State in addition to WIU while in Macomb.
Missouri Valley Conference action kicks off for Valpo at home at the ARC on Friday, Sept. 22 as the Crusaders host UNI. The double-round robin slate of action in The Valley runs through Saturday, Nov. 18 – a home matchup against Southern Illinois. Interspersed in conference play are a pair of non-conference tests, as the Crusaders will host Fort Wayne and travel to take on Chicago State.
The top six teams in the regular season standings advance to the MVC Volleyball Championship, which will be contested in Normal, Ill. from Nov. 23-25, 2017. The top two seeds earn spots in the tournament’s semifinals, while the other four teams play for spots in the semis. The winner of the conference championship match on the 25th will earn the MVC’s automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Volleyball Tournament.