HARRISONBURG, Va., May 17, 2011 – After posting one of the nation’s best turnarounds in 2010, the James Madison volleyball team will look to build on its performance against a challenging 2011 schedule that was released on Tuesday.
“I am looking forward to getting our 2011 season underway,” head coach Lauren Steinbrecher said. “We will be playing several talented teams in preseason that will give us a chance to really see where we are and get us ready for conference play. It should be another competitive year.”
JMU will play in four preseason tournaments, including two at home, three non-conference matches and a 14-match Colonial Athletic Association slate. Of the Dukes’ 29 dates, 15 will be played at home in Sinclair Gymnasium with the other 14 being either on the road or at neutral sites. Four games on the schedule are against teams that appeared in last year’s NCAA Tournament while 13 dates are against teams that finished in the top 150 in the final Ratings Percent Index (RPI).
JMU opens its season with its toughest test, a trip to Green Bay, Wisc., for the Country Inn and Suites Volleyball Classic. In addition to facing tournament-host Wisconsin Green Bay, the Dukes will square off with Dayton and North Dakota. Dayton ended the season ranked 15th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Madison’s first home tournament will be Sept. 2-3, the Days Inn Invitational, and will include visits by Lehigh, Coastal Carolina and Robert Morris while its second tournament, the JMU Classic, includes games against East Tennessee State, Georgetown and Appalachian State on Sept. 16-17. The Dukes’ fourth tournament falls on Sept. 9-10 at High Point University and includes matches against Wright State, Davidson, and High Point.
In other non-conference action, JMU hosts Liberty (Sept. 20) and Norfolk State (Nov. 2) while making a trip to Radford (Oct. 11).
CAA play has the Dukes play home and home series against William and Mary, VCU, George Mason, Delaware and Towson. JMU also travels to UNC Wilmington and Georgia State while playing host to Hofstra and Northeastern.
In 2010, JMU went 22-8 overall to engineer the fourth-best turnaround in the nation. The Dukes finished 10-4 in league play, earning the second seed at the CAA Championship. Returning in 2011 are All-CAA honorees Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant), a second-yeam selection, Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity), a third-team honoree and Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant), an All-Rookie Selection, as well as key contributors in rising seniors Kelly Turner (Ontario, N.Y./Wayne Central) and Holly Wall (Kaukauna, Wisc./Kaukauna) and rising junior Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian).
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