MORGANTOWN — Director of Athletics Shane Lyons announced the 2018 WVU volleyball schedule Monday.
The slate features 15 home games for the Mountaineers, including a pair of tournaments set to take place inside the WVU Coliseum. Eleven matches will be played against opponents who qualified for the 2017 NCAA championships, while five matches will be played against teams who received bids to the 2017 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
“We’re looking forward to a very tough 2018 schedule with this young group,” fourth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “We will find out very early where we stand, as we compete against some of the top teams in the country. We travel to BYU at the end of August for a three-match tournament against NCAA-qualifying teams. Then there is our conference schedule, which always presents us with a big challenge, as four Big 12 teams also qualified for the NCAA tournament last season.
“It’s going to be an exciting year. There are so many great teams coming to town. We open our schedule with the annual WVU Invitational in August. Then you add another home tournament in mid-September, followed by a demanding Big 12 schedule. Those are some great matchups for our fans to come out and watch. We’re going to need Mountaineer Nation’s full support at the WVU Coliseum this year.”
The Mountaineers unofficially open the season Aug. 18, as the squad squares off against Duquesne in an exhibition match. WVU begins its home slate a week later, welcoming a trio of opponents to the WVU Coliseum for the WVU Invitational on Aug. 24-25.
The bulk of the nonconference slate wraps up in Morgantown with a three-match tournament Sept. 14-15. WVU welcomes Morehead State, Penn and Wake Forest to the Mountaineer Classic.
WVU opens Big 12 play Sept. 19, when Iowa State comes to town. The Cyclones, ranked No. 25 in the final AVCA Coaches Poll in 2017, were one of four Big 12 teams which qualified for the 2017 NCAA tournament.
After a trip to Lubbock, Texas, to face NIVC runner-up Texas Tech on Sept. 22, the Mountaineers will return to the WVU Coliseum to host two straight matches. Home contests against Kansas State (Sept. 26) and perennial national contender Texas (Sept. 29) will close out the month of September.
October kicks off with a match at Kansas on Oct. 3. Last season, the Mountaineers took down No. 14 Kansas for their first-ever win over a top-25 program.
On Oct. 9, West Virginia will make the short drive to Washington, D.C., to take on George Washington in a nonconference matchup.
Visit the schedule page on wvusports.com for updated match times. All times listed are subject to change. Tickets for all home matches can be purchased at wvugame.com, by calling 1-800-WVU-GAME or by visiting the Mountaineer Ticket Office at the Gold Gate of the WVU Coliseum.
Several Mountaineers enrolled for summer classes and have arrived on campus, including Fairmont’s Dante Stills and Aliquippa’s Kwantel Raines.
Clemson defensive line transfer Jabril Robinson also enrolled, good news for a defensive front that needs a boost in depth.
Offensively, key arrivals include 4-star running back Leddie Brown of Newark, Del., and tight ends Terrance Banks and Mike McLaughlin.
Commits yet to enroll are Martinsburg linebacker Tavis Lee, Georgia defensive back Jayce Rogers and Australian punter Angus Davies. UCLA graduate transfer Denzel Fisher is committed, but has to finish his requirements at UCLA.
Tyrese Allen, Paintsville, Ky., DL
Terrance Banks, Duquesne, Pa., TE
Joe Brown, Compton, Calif. (JC), OL
Leddie Brown, Newark, Del., RB
Michael Brown, Compton, Calif. (JC), OL
James Gmiter, Bethel Park, Pa., DL
Sam James, Richmond Hill, Ga., WR
Mike O’Laughlin, Glen Ellyn, Ill., TE
Kwantel Raines, Aliquippa, Pa., S
Jabril Robinson, Leland, N.C. (Clemson transfer), DL
Dillon Spalding, Lorton, Va., WR
Dante Stills, Fairmont, DL
Oyenmwen Uzebu, Atlanta, Ga., OL
Bryce Wheaton, Raleigh, N.C., WR
Emilion Appolloni, Martins Ferry, Ohio (Purdue transfer), OL
Noah Drummond, Bridgeport, OL
J.P. Hadley, Forked River, N.J,. LS
Kwincy Hall, Washington, D.C., WR
Mason Rutherford, Huntington, WR
Garrett Smyton, Elkins, OL
The dates were changed for two road contests this season.
WVU’s matches at Maryland and Wright State were flipped. The Mountaineers will face Maryland on at 7 p.m. Sept. 10, and Wright State at 7 p.m. Oct. 9. Originally, WVU was set to travel to College Park, Maryland, on Oct. 8, and Dayton, Ohio, on Sept. 11.
Additionally, several game times for road contests have been released that were originally announced as TBD. WVU’s regular-season opener at College of Charleston on Aug. 24, will begin at 7:30 p.m., in Charleston, S.C.
The Mountaineers begin Mid-American Conference play at Western Michigan, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. Oct. 6. WVU will travel to Akron for a 7 p.m. contest on Oct. 13, while the regular season concludes at 7 p.m. Nov. 3, at NIU.
WVU’s 18-match schedule is highlighted by home matchups against Pitt and Cincinnati, as well as MAC foes SIU Edwardsville, Bowling Green and Northern Illinois. The complete schedule can be found on WVUsports.com. All dates and times are subject to change, and fans are encouraged to stay tuned to wvusports.com for additional updates.