North Texas Volleyball Announces 2016 Schedule
Ohio State, Texas A&M, Baylor Highlight Non-Conference Contests
Captain Amy Henard (center) will be the Mean Green's lone senior in 2016. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
DENTON — North Texas head coach Andrew Palileo announced Mean Green volleyball’s 2016 schedule on Thursday, a slate that offers five home matches to kick off the fall and contests against nine teams that finished with a top-100 RPI last season.
“I always look at the styles of play we will face in our conference and what teams we can play in our pre-conference schedule to give us experience against what our Conference USA opponents will offer,” Palileo said. “This schedule gives us an opportunity to see how we are as a team, how far we’ve come from the spring and summer without Carnae [Dillard], and how the freshmen will react come gametime.”
Palileo & Co. will kick off the season with the North Texas Challenge - one of four tournaments that the team will compete in - when the Mean Green will take on a field that includes Ohio State and Texas A&M in back-to-back days. Those teams finished with RPI ratings of 17 and 9 in 2015, respectively. North Texas will also host the annual North Texas Invitational from Sept. 9-10.
A Sept. 20 contest with Baylor highlights the squad’s non-conference road schedule, and three days later the Mean Green will kick off C-USA action with a home matchup against Southern Miss (Sept. 23).
Overall, North Texas will be on the road against each of the three teams that finished ahead of the Mean Green in last season’s regular season C-USA standings: UTSA (Sept. 30), Rice (Oct. 28) and Western Kentucky (Nov. 10). The Owls will host next year’s C-USA Championship from Nov. 19-21 in Houston.
For the first time since 2012, North Texas has scheduled matches to take place following the conference tournament. The Mean Green will travel to California to take on Long Beach State (Nov. 25) and UC Irvine (Nov. 26), something that Palileo says will give an evolving team a chance to experience the feel of postseason play.
“We’re going through a bit of a transition this year and we’ll be a much more balanced team compared to last season,” Palileo said. “I wanted to give our girls a chance to play some tough teams over the Thanksgiving break. That way, we’ll know what it’s like to play in the postseason against good teams. If we don’t go to the NCAA Tournament, we’re viewing that California trip as an NCAA Tournament match.”
The 2016 North Texas volleyball season begins in less than four months with a contest against Nevada at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 26.
North Texas Volleyball 2016 Schedule
^Nevada - Aug. 26 - 11 a.m.
^Ohio State - Aug. 26 - 6:30 p.m.
^Texas State - Aug. 27 - 11 a.m.
^Texas A&M - Aug. 27 - 6 p.m.
UT Arlington - Aug. 30 - 7 p.m.
&Utah Valley - Sept. 2 - 7 p.m.
&San Jose State - Sept. 3 - 10 a.m.
&Southern Utah - Sept. 3 - 4:30 p.m.
#Lousiana-Lafayette - Sept. 9 - 12:30 p.m.
#Indiana State - Sept. 9 - 7:30 p.m.
#UNC Wilmington - Sept. 10 - TBA
$Incarnate Word - Sept. 16 - 11 a.m.
$SFA - Sept. 16 - 6:30 p.m.
$Little Rock - Sept. 17 - 10 a.m.
Baylor - Sept. 20 - 6 p.m.
*Southern Miss - Sept. 23 - 7 p.m.
*Florida International - Sept. 25 - 1 p.m.
*UTSA - Sept. 30 - 6 p.m.
*Louisiana Tech - Oct. 2 - 1 p.m.
*UAB - Oct. 7 - 11:30 a.m.
*UTEP - Oct. 14 - 7 p.m.
*Florida Atlantic - Oct. 16 - 1 p.m.
*Charlotte - Oct. 23 - 1 p.m.
*Rice - Oct. 28 - 6 p.m.
*Southern Miss - Oct. 30 - 12 p.m.
*Marshall - Nov. 4 - 7 p.m.
*Lousiana Tech - Nov. 6 - 1 p.m.
*Western Kentucky - Nov. 10 - 7 p.m.
*Middle Tennessee - Nov. 12 - 12 p.m.
Conference USA Tournament - Nov. 19-21
Long Beach State - Nov. 25 - 12 p.m.
UC Irvine - Nov. 26 - 4:30 p.m.
^ - North Texas Challenge (Denton, TX)
& - Utah Valley Tournament (Orem, UT)
# - North Texas Invitational (Denton, TX)
$ - Stephen F. Austin Invitational (Nacogdoches, TX)
Home matches in bold
* - Conference USA match