Story by Nick Kendall
Murray State head volleyball coach David Schwepker has announced the 2019 schedule which includes four early season tournaments in Chicago and Indianapolis as well as at Troy and Big Ten power Purdue.
The Racers open the season, August 30, against Valparaiso before playing twice on August 31 against the host Jaguars and defending Summit League Champion South Dakota at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational.
The following weekend the Racers will travel to Troy, Alabama, to take on Chattanooga and Jacksonville on Friday, before battling the host Trojans on Saturday.
Then the team will travel to Chicago for the UIC Invitational. They will play Friday, September 13, against Sacramento State, before taking on the Flames and Bradley on Saturday.
The final tournament takes the Racers to Purdue to compete in the Stacey Clark Classic. They will open the weekend with a match against Eastern Michigan and then play Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Saturday morning.
The Racers will conclude the non-conference season against Purdue, Saturday afternoon. Interestingly, the Racers and Boilermakers’ 2018 season ended the same way, falling to Kentucky in Lexington in the NCAA Tournament.
Schwepker hopes the toughness of the non-conference schedule will help his team be ready for a run at another OVC title.
“I think this year’s schedule will challenge us for an extremely tough OVC regular season schedule,” said Schwepker. “We need to play some tough opponents, which we are, that will help us learn about the direction our team needs to take and the corrections we need to make in order to be successful in the conference. Our team will definitely be challenged this year in our conference and I want our athletes to be as prepared as they can be.”
The Racers will open up OVC play the following weekend on September 27-28, traveling to Eastern Illinois and SIU Edwardsville before playing their first match of the season at Racer Arena on Friday, October 4 against UT Martin.
The final week of the season sees the Racers return home to take on Austin Peay again on November 13, before wrapping up the regular season against Morehead State.
The 2019 OVC Volleyball Tournament will be from November 21-23 at the site of the No. 1 seed. The Racers defeated Austin Peay in Clarksville last season for their third OVC title in five seasons.