The Valparaiso University volleyball program unveiled today its schedule for the upcoming 2019 season, a slate which features 10 matches against teams who participated in the postseason last year.
The season starts with a bang, as Valpo will open the season with consecutive matches against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago at IUPUI’s Hampton Inn Invitational (Aug. 30-31). The tournament begins with a matchup against Murray State, which won the OVC Tournament last season, and follows with a match versus South Dakota, Summit League Tournament champions last year, before closing action against the host Jaguars.
Valpo’s lone non-tournament match amidst its four early-season tournaments comes on Sept. 4, as the Crusaders make the short trip east to South Bend to face Notre Dame. The second tournament of the year is the Golden Flashes Classic at Kent State (Sept. 6-7), where Valpo will take on Idaho State and Robert Morris (Pa.) in addition to the hosts.
Tournament play continues with the DePaul Invitational (Sept. 13-14), with Holy Cross and Central Michigan rounding out the tournament field. Valpo’s final early-season tournament is South Dakota State’s Jackrabbit Invitational (Sept. 20-21), which also features Kansas City and Milwaukee. Valpo will also play at Milwaukee (Sept. 24) in another non-conference match prior to the beginning of conference play.
The double round-robin Missouri Valley Conference schedule opens Sept. 27 at Loyola, with Valpo’s first home conference match coming on Sept. 30 against defending MVC champions UNI. The Valley slate should again be a challenging one, as the MVC is coming off a 2018 season in which it ranked eighth in the nation in conference RPI and sent five teams to the postseason – two to the NCAA Tournament and three to the NIVC.
Valpo’s final home match of the regular season comes on Nov. 16, when it welcomes Bradley to the ARC. The regular season will come to a close on Nov. 23 at Drake, and the Crusaders will then return to Cedar Falls for the MVC Tournament Nov. 28-30. The winner of the MVC Tournament earns the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.