@UConnVolleyball | 2017-18 Schedule
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn volleyball team and head coach Kris Grunwald have announced the 2017-18 schedule, which will be a 32-match season against stiff competition – including four NCAA Tournament opponents.
The Huskies, who completed the 2016 campaign in eighth place in the American Athletic Conference (16-15, 7-13 AAC), will play six matches against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season and 14 against teams in the NCAA’s Top 100 RPI.
Out of eight teams who finished in the RPI Top 100 in 2016, six of them are AAC programs, which will pit the Huskies in 12 tough matches when league play begins on Sept. 20 against Temple at home.
“We are very excited about the 2017 season and schedule. As a foundation, our conference schedule remains extremely challenging,” said Grunwald, who enters his fourth season at UConn. “Last season, the AAC compiled the sixth-highest conference RPI.”
Before the 20-match conference schedule begins, the Huskies will play in four tournaments at the start of the season. The St. John’s Invite on Aug. 25-26 is the opening weekend, where UConn plays Sacramento State, New Hampshire and St. John’s.
New Hampshire lost to Nebraska in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while Sacramento State finished just outside the Top 100, with a final RPI of 110.
The third annual Dog Pound Challenge, hosted by UConn, will be on Friday, Sept. 1 and Saturday, Sept. 2. Hartford, Iona and LSU will be visiting to take part in the festivities, which includes a six-match tournament.
The Villanova Classic (Sept. 8-9) and Bradley Invite (Sept. 15-16) round-out the tournament schedule, which will set the Huskies up against Big East foe Villanova on Sept. 8 and Ivy League champion Princeton on Sept. 9.
UMKC, Bradley and Grand Canyon make-up the Bradley Invite in Peoria, Ill. – the home state of rising senior Tosin Adeniyi (Springfield, Ill.), rising junior Kennedy Arundel (Chicago, Ill.) and rising junior Iman McGary.
“We feel we have compiled an out-of-conference schedule which will allow us to prepare for the grind of the AAC,” said Grunwald. “Fortunately, we were also able to arrange our seniors an opportunity to play close to home during their final Husky campaign.”
Grunwald added, “Kenya Cason (Columbus, Ohio) always draws a crowd to AAC foe Cincinnati, while Tosin Adeniyi and Danielle Cabel (Bettendorf, Iowa) will get to play in front of some friendly faces at Bradley.”
UConn opens conference play with a pair of home matches against Temple (Sept. 20) and Memphis (Sept. 22). Following a trip to Houston (Sept. 29) and Tulane (Oct. 1), the Huskies are back home to face Cincinnati (Oct. 6) – an at-large bid in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
The Huskies play six of nine October matches at home, including a date with reigning AAC champion SMU on Oct. 20. A road weekend at UCF (Oct. 13) and USF (Oct. 15) breaks up the homestand in the middle of the month.
Six of the final eight matches are on the road, including trips to SMU (Nov. 11) and Cincinnati (Nov. 24) on the day after Thanksgiving.
USF (Nov. 17) and UCF (Nov. 19) will visit Storrs in the last home weekend of the season, with Senior Day scheduled for that Sunday against the Knights.
The Huskies lost five seniors to graduation in 2016, but will return a balanced group of youth and experience – including redshirt sophomore Kayla Williams, a 2016 All-AAC Second Team selection.