Volleyball unveils 2007 schedule
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Volleyball team will play one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2007, according to the team's official schedule released Tuesday by UT head coach Jerritt Elliott.
Texas will face seven teams -- accounting for 13 of the team's 24 scheduled matches -- that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Included in that total are two matches with NCAA Round of Eight participant Penn State and a pair of Big 12 Conference matches against defending National Champion Nebraska. Texas will also play a slate of games at the Houston Tourney on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 against opponents who have yet to be determined.
Following the Houston Tourney, the Longhorns play host to Cal State Bakersfield and Pepperdine on Sept. 6-7 before kicking off Big 12 play the following week. In conference play, Texas takes on four league teams that finished the 2006 season ranked in the Top 25. Joining top-ranked Nebraska in the final poll were No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 21 Missouri and No. 24 Colorado.
"We will start the season with a very competitive non-conference schedule," head coach Jerritt Elliott said. "Starting the season with two matches against four-time, defending Big 10 champion Penn State."
"I feel like the work that this team has done in the spring and the commitment level this group has is higher than ever before," added Elliott. "I am excited about coaching the most physical team that I have ever coached this coming season."
UT opens its Big 12 calendar Wednesday, Sept. 12 when it travels to Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers at the Nebraska Coliseum. Texas will look to improve on its last three Big 12 finishes where the team has closed the regular-season second to Nebraska.
For the third-straight year, Texas will play most of its home matches at 6:30 p.m., unless television coverage necessitates individual match time changes. The home schedule is highlighted by Nebraska's return to Austin on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and a showdown with Oklahoma on Oct. 31.
UT will host Texas A&M, historically one of the teams' top matches of the season, on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Texas has won the last five meetings between the two teams and swept the 2006 season series for the second straight season.
Missouri, which split the regular-season series with the Horns the past two seasons, returns to Austin on Saturday, Sept. 15. Texas then welcomes Colorado to Gregory Gym on Friday, Sept. 28 for the first match of the season series.
The Longhorns, who finished the 2006 season with a 24-7 record and who entered the NCAA Tournament ranked eighth nationally, return 10 of 13 letterwinners and seven players with considerable starting experience. UT also welcomes two top-10 recruits in 2007: No. 2 Juliann Faucette and No. 3 Jen Doris.