PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - University of Maryland Eastern Shore head volleyball coach Don Metil has announced the 2012 schedule. The defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion will play in five tournaments across the country before playing a 12-match league schedule. The Hawks will play six home matches this season against MEAC North opponents. UMES currently holds the second-longest home-winning streak in Division I, having won its last 24 matches at the Hytche Athletic Center. "In all, the schedule was designed to give us different levels of play, be tested early and often, and prepare us for a strong run at defending our Northern Divisional and MEAC titles," says Metil. The campaign begins with a trip up north to Brooklyn Heights, New York for the SFC Terrier Invitational, hosted by St. Francis University. UMES will play its first match against the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Friday, August 24th at 1:00 p.m. The next day, the Hawks take on St. Francis at 11 a.m., followed by 1:30 p.m. match against Radford. The Hawks fly down south the next weekend to play five matches in the Tiger Invitational in Savannah, Georgia. On Friday, August 31st, Metil's squad takes on Southern Utah at 1 p.m., then New Mexico at 7 p.m. On Saturday, September 1st, UMES will play in another pair of matches, facing UNC Asheville in the morning at 11 a.m., then Kennesaw State at 5 p.m. The team will finish the tournament with a match against MEAC foe and tournament host Savannah State on Sunday, September 2nd at 10 a.m. Heading to Maryland's neighbor to the west, UMES will head to Morgantown, West Virginia to compete in the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge. The Hawks will face tournament host West Virginia on the first day, taking on the Mountaineers on Friday, September 7th at 3 p.m. Then on the following day, the squad takes on St. Peter's College for a 10 a.m. morning match, then a 2 p.m. afternoon affair with Wright State. UMES head back down south to Montgomery, Alabama for four matches of the ASU Tournament, hosted by Alabama State University. The first day on Friday, September 14th, the Maroon and Grey will have a morning match against North Texas at 9 a.m., then an evening match at 7 p.m. versus Alabama State. On Saturday, September 15th, UMES looks to take down Troy at 9 a.m. Then at 3 p.m., the Hawks face 2011 NCAA Tournament competitor Jackson State to finish the tournament. In its final regular season tournament, UMES heads back to California, the same state the team played its first ever NCAA Tournament match last season, to enter the Roadrunner Invite in Bakersfield. There the Hawks will play three matches, starting with tournament host CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, September 20th at 10 p.m. On Friday, September 21st, the Hawks will be taking on Utah Valley at 3 p.m., followed with a rematch against CSU Bakersfield at 10 p.m. that night. After coming back from the West Coast, the Hawks begin conference play on Sunday, September 23rd with a 3 p.m. match against Route 13 rival Delaware State in Dover. The following week, UMES heads to Washington D.C. on Sunday, September 30th at 3 p.m. to take on Howard. UMES kicks off the home schedule with six matches at the Hytche in October. The home opener is set for Friday, October 5th as the Hawks take on Coppin State at 7 p.m. The following Friday on October 12th, UMES hosts Hampton at 7 p.m., then Norfolk State on Sunday, October 14th at 3 p.m. The team will begin Hawk Hysteria on Friday, October 19th with a 6 p.m. match against Delaware State. Morgan State will come to Princess Anne for a 3 p.m. match on Sunday, October 21st. Senior Day will be on Friday, October 26th as the Maroon and Gray takes on Howard at 7 p.m. Four road matches will finish up UMES's regular season. UMES will have a weekend in Baltimore as the team plays Morgan State on Friday, November 2nd at 7 p.m., followed by Coppin State on Sunday, November 4th at 3 p.m. Then the Hawks will cross the Bay Bridge-Tunnel for a match against Norfolk State on Friday, November 9th at 7 p.m., with the final conference match coming against Hampton on Sunday, November 11th at 3 p.m. The Hawks will look to defend their conference title at the MEAC Tournament, set to be played from November 16th through the 18th. The location of the tournament will be announced in the future. "This year's schedule should allow us to see both regional competition as well as opponents that UMES may have never played before," says Metil, "A lot of the teams on our non-conference schedule this season appear to be established squads in regards to their roster. If our young team can compete against seasoned squads, this will place us in a strong position for postseason play."