Arizona releases '09 schedule
June 30, 2009
Playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, the Arizona volleyball team unveiled its 2009 schedule Tuesday and begins their quest to return to the postseason August 28 in Louisville, Ky.
'The schedule sets up to be much more difficult that last season and that was for a reason,' said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio. 'We knew we would be improved and we need to step up and play a tougher non-conference schedule. We need to step up.'
The Wildcats play seven of the top 16 seeds from last season's NCAA tournament and 10 overall that played in the postseason.
Arizona opens the year playing back-to-back contests against postseason foes, opening with Louisville Aug. 28 and then taking on Belmont Aug. 29 in Louisville, Ky.
Returning all five starters and their libero, the Wildcats will also play Utah, who was the nation's No. 12 seed and Tulane, No. 16 seed, in their non-conference schedule.
Pittsburg, Nevada, Houston, Eastern Washington, New Mexico, and UTEP are the other teams on the team's non-conference slate before heading into Pac-10 play.
'The conference will be more competitive than it has ever been,' said Rubio. 'The gap between teams continuse to shrink and we expect to have some great fights between everyone in the conference.'
Six Pac-10 teams played in the postseason last year and the Wildcats will battle everyone for the conference wins.
The Wildcats also already have a televised game in the works when they head up I-10 to face in-state rival Arizona State. The Wildcats and Sun Devils will be on FSN Friday, Oct. 16th from Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona opens their home schedule Sept. 4 against Nevada in the Wildcat Classic.