|Challenging Schedule Awaits Women's Volleyball in 2012|
The George Mason women's volleyball team will square off against three NCAA tournament teams from a year ago as well as a blend of local and nationally-known opponents in the upcoming season, as head coach Pat Kendrick announced the Patriots' 2012 schedule. Mason will play 11 home matches at the RAC, highlighted by the two-day, five-team Patriot Invitational on Labor Day Weekend.
Mason opens its 39th season of women's volleyball on Saturday, August 25 as it travels across the Potomac River to take part in the annual D.C. Volleyball Challenge. Mason faces Georgetown at 1 p.m. before the nightcap against host American at 7 p.m. at Bender Arena.
The first home action of the season comes on Tuesday, August 28, as the Patriots host UMBC at 7 p.m. The following Saturday, the Patriot Invitational kicks off as part of Family Weekend, featuring four teams (Navy, Niagara, West Virginia, South Carolina) in addition to the Green and Gold. Five matches will be contested Saturday, September 1 with four more on Sunday.
From there, Mason opens a six-match non-conference road trip, with visits to North Carolina and Pennsylvania. At the High Point University Classic, the Patriots will compete against Virginia Tech and Loyola Marymount along with the host Panthers on Friday and Saturday, September 8-9.
The following weekend, the Patriots head to the City of Brotherly Love, taking part in the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational Tournament. Along with matches against Radford and Rutgers, Mason will face the host Penn Quakers in the two day tournament from September 14-15.
"We're looking forward to the upcoming season," said Kendrick, who is in her 28th season as the head coach. "We believe playing local rivals American and Georgetown, along with opponents like South Carolina and Loyola Marymount will challenge us and get us ready for our CAA opponents."
With non-conference play wrapped up after mid-September, the Patriots turn to the Colonial Athletic Association slate beginning Friday, September 21 at home against Georgia State. A three-match road trip follows with contests against James Madison (Sep. 29), Northeastern (Oct. 5) and Hofstra (Oct. 7).
The Patriots will welcome back their alumni for the second weekend of October, hosting Towson and Delaware on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13. Another three-match road swing looms, with trips to GSU (Oct. 21), UNCW (Oct. 26) and William & Mary (Oct. 28) to close out the action away from Fairfax.
Mason wraps up the 2012 regular season at home, beginning Friday, November 2 against rival James Madison. The 7 p.m. match will also be the Patriots' annual Dig Pink match, where they will don pink uniforms to raise awareness and support of breast cancer research. Senior Weekend follows, as Mason hosts Hofstra (November 9) and Northeastern (November 10) in the final matches of the regular season.
"As for the CAA schedule, we expect very strong competition," Kendrick added. "Getting to the tournament and putting ourselves into a position to win another conference title will be our goals this season."
The Green and Gold will be working all season long towards a berth in the six-team CAA Championship, which will take place November 16-18 at the highest seed's home court.