DURHAM, N.H. – Jill Hirschinger, head coach of the University of New Hampshire volleyball team, has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2011 season.
The Wildcats open their 2011 campaign on Friday, Aug. 26 at the West Virginia University Mountaineers Invitational. UNH will play the host Mountaineers as well as Ohio State, Towson and Valparaiso during the opening weekend of competition at WVU.
New Hampshire then travels to Pittsburgh (Sept. 2-3) for the UPitt Invitational with the host Panthers, Miami (OH) and four-time defending national champion Penn State. The Wildcats will travel to Northeastern for a single non-conference match Sept. 6, before playing host to some elite talent at the Holly Young Invitational.
New Hampshire opens up play at the Holly Young Invite with Missouri Valley Conference foe Indiana State (Sept. 9 – 7 p.m.) before playing a pair of Nutmeg State foes in Fairfield (Sept. 10 – 12:30 p.m.) and Connecticut (Sept. 10 – 7 p.m.).
The Wildcats travel south for a single match at Harvard Sept. 13 followed by a trip to Connecticut for the Yale/Quinnipiac Tournament. UNH will play both hosts at their home gyms and will also face Army over the weekend (Sept. 16-17).
The 'Cats continue non-conference play when they host Bryant University Sept. 20.
UNH will open America East conference play Saturday, Sept. 24 when it travels to Hartford (4 p.m.). The Wildcats play five-straight America East games in the month of October before ending their non-conference slate at Holy Cross Oct. 26. New Hampshire ends the regular season with four-straight league matches on the road.
The Wildcats hope to earn a spot in the four-team America East tournament slated for Nov. 18-20 at the site of the highest seed.
Overall, UNH will play nine teams in the top half of the RPI, including four in the top 100 (Penn State – 1, Ohio State – 29, Albany – 90, Northeastern – 98, Valparaiso – 101, Yale – 104, Pittsburgh – 128, West Virginia – 142 and Army – 154). The Wildcats have won three America East Tournament titles (1998, 2002, 2003) and earned three NCAA appearances in school history, all of which have come under Coach Hirschinger.