May 23, 2012
2012 Volleyball Schedule
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball announced its 2012 schedule of opponents on Wednesday afternoon, which revealed four tournaments and 14 non-conference opponents to go along with the Conference USA competition.
The Herd will face ten teams who finished in the NCAA RPI's top 100 last season including winners of the Big East conference tournament, Louisville, Southern Conference champions, Samford, Big South conference title winners, Liberty, and third place ACC finishers, Duke.
"We could have tried to go an easy route, but just because we are coming off a tough season doesn't mean we are going to change our scheduling philosophy," said head coach Mitch Jacobs. "We are a program that should be competing towards the top of Conference USA and to do so we have to handle our preseason schedule."
Marshall will play tournament hosts in the season's opening action by inviting Wright State, IUPUI, and Miami (Ohio) to Huntington, W.Va. for the Thunder Invitational on August 24-25.
"We're excited about opening up the season at home with a strong tournament," said Jacobs. "IUPUI and Miami (OH) are certainly strong programs and Wright State will be getting stronger as they just changed head coaches."
The Thundering Herd will follow with three other tournaments including the Louisville Tournament, Kent State Tournament, and East Carolina Invitational. The Louisville Tournament will offer Marshall its fiercest competition of the season as two conference champions from last season in Louisville and Samford, as well as Duke will be playing in the tournament.
"The Louisville Tournament will be incredible," said Jacobs. "All three of these teams are coming off of NCAA tournament finishes last season."
Marshall's non-conference schedule will also include competition from East Tennessee State, Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky, UMBC, and Brown. The Herd will also be playing four different teams for the first time in Marshall history including Duke, Samford, St. Francis (PA), and Brown this season.
"We are able to bring back some rivalries this season," marked Jacobs. "From the old Southern Conference, we have East Tennessee State. We will be competing with them home and away for the next two years. We also have Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State, which are good local schools. Those are great mid-week matches that will give us good local flavor."
The Herd will have its first conference competition against East Carolina in the East Carolina Invitational on September 14 and will look to continue its success against the Pirates as Marshall swept East Carolina last season.
Marshall will then face Conference USA champions Tulsa on September 21 and finish the rest of the season with C-USA opponents.
"The best teams in the league didn't lose much," noted Jacobs on the C-USA. "It will be an interesting scenario as we push forth because I think we have a couple of bright years ahead of us and it's going to be a dogfight."
For only the third time in 35 years, the Thundering Herd will not have West Virginia on the schedule. The "Golden Ball Match" has been stalled for the time being.