BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team will once again play one of the most demanding non-conference schedules in the nation this season, including four programs that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last fall.
The Bobcats return seven letter-winners and five starters from last season's 25-8 squad, which posted an unblemished 18-0 record in Conference Carolinas play en route to the program's 13th league title in the last 14 years. Head Coach Wes Schneider is back at the helm for his second season, and will be joined by 2010 all-Conference Carolinas First Team selections Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) and Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.).
Lees-McRae will face perhaps its toughest tests of the season on the opening weekend, when the Bobcats take on Lander University, Wingate University, Tusculum College, and Flagler College as part of LMC's annual Carolina Challenge on Sep. 2 and 3. The Bobcats then travel to Greeneville, Tenn. to take part in Tusculum's Fall Classic on Sep. 9 and 10, squaring off against the University of Montevallo and Lenoir-Rhyne University on Friday, and Francis Marion University and host Tusculum on Saturday.
Coach Schneider's squad will open Conference Carolinas on Sep. 13, traveling to Spartanburg, S.C. to take on Converse College before returning home to square off against Mount Olive College on Sep. 16. The Bobcats will be back in action the following morning, hosting a five-match marathon that includes a conference matchup with Barton College and non-league tilts against UNC Pembroke and Concord University on Sep. 17.
Lees-McRae then hits the road for a four-match stretch against Erskine College (Sep. 21), North Greenville University (Sep. 23), King College (Sep. 24), and St. Augustine's College (Sep. 30), before returning home to host Belmont Abbey College on Oct. 1 as part of homecoming weekend.
Following an away matchup with Limestone College on Oct. 5, the Bobcats will return to the familiar confines of Williams Gym to take on Converse (Oct. 7), Erskine (Oct. 8), King (Oct. 11), and Queens University of Charlotte (Oct. 14) as they enter the stretch run of their conference schedule.
The Bobcats then travel to Misenheimer, N.C. to take on Pfeiffer University on Oct. 15, and after returning home to face North Greenville on Oct. 19, head back on the road to square off against Augusta State University, Armstrong Atlantic State University, and USC Aiken on Oct. 21 and 22 at Lander's Crossover Tournament.
Lees-McRae will stay on the road for the next three matches, taking on Coker College (Oct. 28), St. Andrews Presbyterian College (Oct. 29), and Belmont Abbey (Nov. 2) before celebrating senior day against Limestone on Nov. 5 to wrap up its wrapping up its regular season schedule. With much of their veteran core returning, the Bobcats are primed to defend their conference title and make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
- LMC -