SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Head coach Allison Yaeger announced the 2016 Seton Hall volleyball schedule on Wednesday. The Pirates will play 31 matches overall, including 12 home dates at Walsh Gym and 18 contests as part of BIG EAST Conference play.
For a third straight year each BIG EAST team will play its nine opponents twice, in a home and away format.
The Pirates will open the season with four weekend tournaments before beginning conference play at Villanova on September 20. The Wildcats surprised the BIG EAST by winning 14 of 18 conference games in 2015 and earned an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates dropped both contests with Villanova last year.
Seton Hall will start the year with three matches at the Golden Dome Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame, Aug. 26-27. Seton Hall will open against the Fighting Irish on Friday at 7:00 p.m., before facing both Western Michigan and Cleveland State on Saturday.
The following weekend, Seton Hall will host the Seton Hall Classic in Walsh Gym. The Pirates will welcome George Washington on Friday, September 2 at 7:00 p.m. They’ll host both Canisius and Towson on September 3.
Seton Hall will play three matches at the Blue Raider Bash, September 9-10, hosted by Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro. The Hall will take on Illinois State and Tennessee Tech on Friday, before facing MTSU at noon on Saturday. Seton Hall edged MTSU, 3-2, in the final game of the Seton Hall Classic in 2014.
After traveling to Hofstra for a mid-week contest on Sept. 13, the Pirates will play their final regular season tournament of the season at nearby Rutgers, Sept. 16-17. The Hall will face both Seattle University and Princeton on Friday, before facing host Rutgers on Saturday. Seton Hall has won its last three matches against the Scarlet Knights, including a three-set sweep in their last meeting in 2014.
The Pirates will then play 18 consecutive BIG EAST matches beginning at Villanova on Sept. 20 and ending with Senior Day at Walsh Gym vs. St. John’s on Saturday, Nov. 19.
The top four BIG EAST teams in the final regular season standings will vie for the conference championship and its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, November 25-26, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The event will be hosted by Butler University.