Volleyball Preview




The 2011 volleyball season begins this weekend as all 15 BIG EAST teams start regular season action. Three BIG EAST teams received votes in AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll including; Louisville, Cincinnati and Notre Dame. Louisville, the preseason favorite to win the league, opens its season with three matches at the Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic in Atlanta, Ga. The Cardinals will be led by BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year junior Lola Arslanbekova as well as senior Gwen Rucker and sophomore Emily Juhl, members of the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
Notre Dame selected to finish second in the preseason poll host's the Shamrock Invitational with games scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For success this season, the Irish will rely on members of the All-BIG EAST Preseason team including senior Kristen Dealy and last year's BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Andrea McHugh. Defending regular season champion Cincinnati squares off against two top-25 teams at the Northern Illinois Tournament in DeKalb, Ill, including No. 14 Northern Iowa and No. 18 Iowa State. The Bearcats lead by All-BIG EAST Preseason junior Jordanne Scott will try and repeat last year's success of making the NCAA Championship.
Seniors Kim Maroon and Maggie Mergen of Villanova, senior Ashley Beyer of Marquette, senior Megan Matusiak of Seton Hall, senior Darlene Ramdin of St. John's and senior Noemie Lefebvre of Syracuse also were named to the All-BIG EAST Preseason team.
BIG EAST Conference play is set to begin on Friday, Sept. 23. All teams play a 14-game schedule with the top eight teams advancing to the league championship Nov. 18-20 hosted by Marquette University at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee, Wis. The conference champion receives the league's automatic bid to the 64-team NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship.
This weekend's BIG EAST volleyball schedule: 
26   UniWyo Wyoming Invite (Laramie, Wyo.)
       DePaul vs. Oregon State                               11:00 a.m.
       DePaul vs. South Dakota                                7:00 p.m.
       Pitt Panther Invitational (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
       Howard at Pittsburgh                                    11:00 a.m.
       Eastern Kentucky at Pittsburgh                        7:00 p.m.
       WVU Volleyball Mountaineer Invitational (Morgantown, W. Va.)
       New Hampshire at West Virginia                      1:00 p.m.
       Valparaiso at West Virginia                             7:30 p.m.
       Kristen Dickmann Invitational (Annapolis, Md.)
       St. John's vs. Iona                                         1:00 p.m.
       St. John's vs. Air Force                                   5:00 p.m.
       Comfort Suites SHSU Invitational (Huntsville, Texas)
       Rutgers vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi               2:00 p.m.
       Rutgers at Sam Houston State                         7:00 p.m.
       Colgate Classic (Hamilton, N.Y.)
       Seton Hall vs. Buffalo                                     3:00 p.m.
       Northern Illinois Tournament (DeKalb, Ill.)
       Cincinnati vs. Iowa State                                3:00 p.m.
       Cincinnati at Northern Illinois                          8:00 p.m.
       Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic (Atlanta, Ga.)
       Louisville vs. Tennessee Tech                         4:30 p.m.
       DC Challenge (Washington, D.C.)
       Georgetown vs. George Mason                        5:00 p.m.
       Tennessee Invitational (Knoxville, Tenn.)
       Villanova vs. Maryland                                    5:00 p.m.
       TCU Tournament (Fort Worth, Texas)
       Connecticut vs. Grambling State                      5:30 p.m.                 
       Hawkeye Challenge (Iowa City, Iowa)
       Marquette vs. St. Louis                                   5:30 p.m.
       Shamrock Invitational (Notre Dame, Ind.)                
       Eastern Michigan at Notre Dame                      7:00 p.m.
       Big Orange Tournament (Syracuse, N.Y.)
       Sacred Heart at Syracuse                                7:00 p.m.
       New Mexico Invite (Albuquerque, N.M.)
       USF at New Mexico                                        7:30 p.m.
27   Tennessee Invitational (Knoxville, Tenn.)
       Villanova at Tennessee                                 10:00 p.m.
       Villanova vs. Ohio                                          5:00 p.m.
       Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic (Atlanta, Ga.)
       Louisville vs. Kansas State                            10:30 a.m.
       Louisville at Georgia Tech                               7:00 p.m.
       Hawkeye Challenge (Iowa City, Iowa)
       Marquette vs. Central Michigan                      11:00 a.m.
       Marquette at Iowa                                         8:00 p.m.
       Kristen Dickmann Invitational (Annapolis, Md.)
       St. John's vs. Bowling Green                          11:00 a.m.
       St. John's at Navy                                          3:00 p.m.
       Pitt Panther Invitational (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
       Marist at Pittsburgh                                      11:00 a.m.
       Rhode Island at Pittsburgh                              7:00 p.m.
       Comfort Suites SHSU Invitational (Huntsville, Texas)
       Rutgers vs. Louisiana Tech                            11:30 a.m.
       Rutgers vs. UT Pan-American                          4:00 p.m.
       TCU Tournament (Fort Worth, Texas)
       Connecticut vs. Texas Tech                           11:30 a.m.
       Connecticut at TCU                                        8:00 p.m.
       Colgate Classic (Hamilton, N.Y.)
       Seton Hall at Colgate                                            Noon
       Big Orange Tournament (Syracuse, N.Y.)
       Youngstown State at Syracuse                       12:30 p.m.
       Siena at Syracuse                                          7:00 p.m.
       UniWyo Wyoming Invite (Laramie, Wyo.)
       DePaul vs. Gonzaga                                       1:00 p.m.
       DePaul at Wyoming                                       9:00 p.m.
       Northern Illinois Tournament (DeKalb, Ill.)
       Cincinnati vs. Northern Iowa                           1:00 p.m.
       Cincinnati vs. IUPUI                                       6:00 p.m.
       D.C. Challenge (Washington, D.C.)
       Georgetown at American                                1:00 p.m.
       Georgetown at George Washington                  7:00 p.m.
       New Mexico Invite (Albuquerque, N.M.)
       USF vs. New Mexico State                               5:00 p.m.
       Shamrock Invitational (Notre Dame, Ind.)                
       Idaho at Notre Dame                                     7:00 p.m.
       WVU Volleyball Mountaineer Invitational (Morgantown, W. Va.)
       Ohio State at West Virginia                             7:00 p.m.
28    WVU Volleyball Mountaineer Invitational (Morgantown, W. Va.)
       Towson at West Virginia                                 1:00 p.m.
       Robert Morris at West Virginia                          7:00 p.m.
       Shamrock Invitational (Notre Dame, Ind.)                
       Butler at Notre Dame                                     1:30 p.m.