OMAHA, Neb. -- Ten matches against NCAA Tournament teams and a move to the BIG EAST Conference highlight Creighton Volleyball's 2013 schedule, released today by head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
The schedule features 12 home matches at D.J. Sokol Arena in the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center, not including the BIG EAST Tournament that Creighton will also host. That event will have the league's top four teams vying for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 29-30.
After Creighton's annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Aug. 23rd, the regular-season gets underway on Aug. 30 with two matches at the Hampton Inn Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Jays will open the season with a match vs. BYU (28-4, Sweet 16 last year) before playing the host Falcons one day later (22-11, NCAA Rd. 1).
Creighton then returns to Omaha for a four-match homestand, beginning with the ninth edition of the Bluejay Invitational. Creighton opens with Northern Colorado (24-11, NCAA Rd. 1) on Friday before matches with South Florida (17-15) and perennial NCAA power California (15-16, NCAA Rd. 1). Three days later Kansas (26-7, NCAA Rd. 2) comes to town in a non-conference battle.
The Jays trek the following weekend to Denver, Colo., for the Denver Invitational. Creighton meets Cal State Northridge (21-10) and host Denver (17-13) on Friday before a match with mighty UCLA (23-8, NCAA Rd. 2) on Saturday afternoon.
Creighton then visits former MVC rival Wichita State to close the non-conference slate with the Shocker Volleyball Classic. That field will include Hawaii (27-3, NCAA Rd. 2), Wichita State (24-10, Sweet 16) and South Dakota (14-14).
In all, Creighton's 12 non-conference schedule features at least eight contests against NCAA teams from a year ago. The 12 teams on the schedule combined to go a collective 258-122 (.679) last season, including a 7-8 mark in NCAA Tournament play.
A quirk in the new BIG EAST Conference scheduling model gives the Jays a rare weekend off on Sept. 28-29 before CU opens play in its new league October 4 at Butler and at Xavier one night later.
CU's first BIG EAST home match will be the following Friday (Oct. 11) when DePaul comes to Omaha. Two days later Marquette arrives in a rematch of Creighton's 3-0 NCAA Tournament win in Minneapolis last November.
The Jays remain home the following weekend for home matches with Xavier (Oct. 18) and Butler (Oct. 20) before hitting the road by closing October with road contests at Marquette (Oct. 25) and DePaul (Oct. 26).
Creighton opens November with home contests against St. John's (Nov. 1) and Seton Hall (Nov. 3) before a four-match road swing that includes matches at Villanova (Nov. 8), Georgetown (Nov. 9), St. John's (Nov. 15) and Seton Hall (Nov. 16). Creighton closes regular-season action with home contests versus Georgetown (Nov. 22) and Villanova (Nov. 24).
As mentioned, Creighton will host a four-team BIG EAST Tournament on Nov. 29-30, but the Bluejays are not guaranteed a spot in the field.
Creighton finished 29-4 last season, sweeping Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles before advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Creighton returns nine letterwinners and four starters from that squad. For season tickets, call (402) 280-JAYS.
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