Volleyball Announces 2012 ScheduleJune 25, 2012
ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson University head volleyball coach Craig Mosqueda has released the Trojans’ 2012 schedule, which features a challenging non-conference slate and a balanced home and away lineup with 15 home contests and more than two dozen road matches.
“This is a good, challenging schedule,” said Mosqueda. “We are still relatively young but I expect us to be competitive. We had a very good spring and the team displayed a lot of growth. I’m looking for that success in the spring to carry over into the fall.”
Mosqueda’s young squad – with eight sophomores, one junior and just two seniors returning - opens the regular season on the road at Limestone’s College Classic in the Timken Center, where the Trojans will square off against first-year head coach Julia Reininga’s Southern Wesleyan Warriors, who are coming off back-to-back appearances in the NCCAA National Tournament, and the host Saints. Limestone closed out last season by dropping a five-set decision to Queens in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Conference Carolinas Tournament.
After a one-year hiatus, the Trojans will again host the AU Invitational, with Anderson opening the two-day event by facing future South Atlantic Conference-member Coker and Conference Carolinas’-foe Belmont Abbey on Friday, Sept. 7, then meeting Limestone for the second time and Shaw on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Coker (9-19) narrowly missed out on earning a spot in the 2011 Conference Carolinas’ Tournament, while Belmont Abbey (18-15) fell just shy of upsetting top-seeded Lees-McRae on its home court in the opening round of the event.
AU wraps up the five-match homestand by playing host to another future member of the SAC, as Queens invades the Abney Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11. The Royals notched the most successful season in school history in 2011, earning a 23-9 record before falling to Lees-McRae in the Conference Carolinas Championship.
The Trojans open their league slate by embarking on another three-match road swing when they travel to Brevard and Lenoir-Rhyne (17-15) in mid-September. AU swept the regular-season series with the Tornados in 2011, while dropping two to the Bears, as L-R rose as high as ninth in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Poll. Lenoir-Rhyne earned the fifth seed in last year’s SAC Tournament, where the Bears dropped a 3-1 decision to Tusculum in the opening round.
Anderson visits Peach Belt-opponent Lander and first-year head coach Ashley Stathas three days later before returning to the friendly confines of the Abney Center to welcome Lincoln Memorial (22-7) and Carson-Newman (17-14). LMU will be looking to make its fifth consecutive NCAA Southeast Regional appearance in 2012 after earning the fifth seed in last year’s tourney.
Anderson continues conference action by traveling to Mars Hill (Sept. 28) and Tusculum (18-13), one of five SAC teams to earn a berth last year’s NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament, before visiting rival Erskine in a mid-week contest on Oct. 2. The Trojans blanked the Flying Fleet, 3-0, at home last season and have won three of the last four meetings.
The Trojans play host to SAC Tournament runner-up Catawba (Oct. 5), before six-time defending conference champion Wingate invades the Abney Center for a Saturday afternoon matchup on Oct. 6. The Bulldogs (32-1) enter the 2012 season looking to extend their league-record 82-match SAC winning streak after recording their first-ever undefeated regular season a year ago and making their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Anderson closes out the first half of the league round-robin schedule by traveling to Newberry, another NCAA Tournament qualifier, on Tuesday, Oct. 9, with Tusculum visiting the Abney Athletic Center for Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 27. The Trojans wrap up their nonconference slate by playing host to Augusta State on Oct. 30. The Jaguars (16-19) advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 Peach Belt Conference before being ousted by top-seeded Armstrong Atlantic.
The South Atlantic Conference Tournament will be hosted by Brevard, from Nov. 16-18.
“The conference will be tough again,” added Mosqueda. “This schedule provides quality regional opponents and we can be competitive.”