DOVER, Del.— Delaware State University volleyball head coach Renee Arnold released the team's 2012 schedule Monday and said the Hornets, similar to last season, will play the majority of their campaign with road contests as they compete for their first MEAC title in 26 years.
"Like previous years, we have a competitive non-conference schedule that includes tough opponents," Arnold said. "Facing this caliber of competition should propel us into conference play as we make our run to a MEAC championship."
Del. State opens the season with four tournaments, beginning with the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash Aug. 24-25 where they will face off against Long Island, High Point, and host UNC Wilmington. DSU then travels to Easton, Pa. Aug. 31-Sept. 1 for the Lafeytte College Tournament with opponents Saint Peter's, Fairleigh Dickinson, and host Leopards.
The next weekend features the Runnin' Bulldog Classic Sept. 7-8 as Delaware State, UMKC, and Charlotte are welcomed by host Gardner-Webb in the round robin event.
After a two-year hiatus, the Hornet Invitational returns Sept. 15 as the Hornets host St. Francis and La Salle in the three-game, one-day tournament held in Memorial Hall. DSU opens Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play the following weekend, welcoming Route 13 rival and defending MEAC Champion University of Maryland Eastern Shore to Dover Sept. 23 for a 3 p.m. match.
The Hornets then travel to Washington, D.C. to take on Howard University Sept. 28 before the Route 1 Rivalry continues Oct. 2 with the Delaware Blue Hens in Newark, Del. Morgan State helps kick off a four-game MEAC home-stand for Del. State beginning Oct. 5. The Hornets then host Coppin State Oct. 7 before taking on Norfolk State Oct. 12 and Hampton Oct. 14.
DSU heads south Oct. 19 to Princess Anne, Md. where they will take on UMES for their second and final regular season matchup before taking a break from MEAC play as they host Lehigh Oct. 23 and Rider Oct. 25 at Memorial Hall. The final home game of the season comes Oct. 28 as DSU takes on Howard and the Hornets will celebrate senior day honoring Laisha Davis of Riviera Beach, Fla. and Bel Fakaosi of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Del. State wraps up the regular season in Nov. with four contests on the road, traveling to Baltimore to play Coppin State Nov. 2 and Morgan State Nov. 4 before heading to Virginia to take on Hampton Nov. 9 and Norfolk State Nov. 11. The MEAC Championships will take place Nov. 16-19 at a site to be announced later.
In total, DSU will play in 26 regular season matches, including 10 at home, and will face Charlotte in 2012 for the first time in school history. Earlier this month, Delaware State was predicted to finish fifth in the MEAC north as voted on by the conference's head volleyball coaches and sports information directors.
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