POSTED: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 5:10pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 5:56pm
UTEP head coach Ken Murphy has announced the schedule for the 2010 volleyball campaign.
The Miners will open the season on the road on Aug. 27 at the Hilton RTU/NCCU Tournament in Durham, N.C., with matches against Elon, Charleston Southern, Delaware State and North Carolina Central.
UTEP will then play a home-and-home series against Interstate 10 rival NM State with the first match played in Las Cruces, N.M., on Sept. 3 and at Memorial Gym on Sept. 7.
“Our non-conference schedule has a good balance of teams,” Murphy said. “We have a very talented but young team and I think this schedule will allow us to grow and gain experience every week.”
Murphy and his Miners will remain in the Lone Star State to close out the non-conference schedule at the UTSA Tournament, Sept. 10-11, and the UT-Arlington Hilton Invitational, Sept. 17-18.
The Miners will return to North Carolina to kick off Conference USA action the following weekend against East Carolina. A new league format added four games to the usual 16 and eliminated the conference tournament extending the regular season to the last weekend in November. The regular season champion will earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
“With the conference schedule expanding to 20 matches and the elimination of the conference tournament, each week is more important than ever,” Murphy added. “C-USA is competitive from top to bottom and it will be a great test for us to prepare and compete every night for the entire season. As a program, we know what we are capable of this year and we are anxious to show what we can do against the teams on this schedule.”
The first half of the conference schedule will take the Miners to Rice, Tulane, Southern Miss and with only 11 home matches in 2010, UTEP will host Marshall, Memphis and UAB. The Miners will begin the second half of the slate with a trip to Tulsa and SMU before opening a four-match home stand against Southern Miss on Nov. 5.
UTEP will conclude the 2010 campaign with a home match against UCF on Nov. 24 and again against the Knights in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 27.