Volleyball entering Conference USA brings about changes for Ken Murzcek's program. C-USA, despite only sending one team to the tournament the past two seasons, sent three teams in 2008 and two to the national tournament in 2009.
All 13 C-USA schools sponsor volleyball.
"I'm extremely excited about the move to Conference USA," said North Texas Head Volleyball Coach Ken Murzcek. "I think it is going to do tremendous things for our program. First off from a recruiting standpoint, we'll be able to recruit more nationally. Obviously the level of competition will increase significantly. There are eight schools that won 17 or more matches last season, five were in the top 100 of the RPI, which hopefully lends itself to more schools getting at-large bids for the NCAA Tournament."
One of the biggest differences to C-USA might be the lack of a conference tournament. The league's last conference tournament was in 2009, when Conference USA adopted a 20-game league format that saw teams play nine of its conference opponents home-and-away, and single games with the other two members of the league.
"If there is no conference tournament, then the preseason becomes critical. I hope that we can still keep four weekends, so schools can schedule accordingly, to try to get their RPI up to raise the strength of the conference overall."
C-USA brings competitive volleyball teams to North Texas' schedules, as six of the 13 C-USA volleyball schools have made the NCAA Tournament since 2008. Eight programs currently in the league won 17 or more matches in 2011, including North Texas, and five were ranked in the top 100 in the final RPI.
With schools such as UTSA, Tulsa, Rice and Louisiana Tech in C-USA, travel will be cut down and be beneficial to the volleyball program.
"I always think about our student-athletes first, when I look at our schedule," said Murczek "To have opponents now that are within a short bus ride, I think that's incredibly helpful for the amount of days we have to miss for school."
Coach Murczek will be at the Denton stop of the Mean Green Club Coaches' Caravan on Tuesday, May 8th in the club level of Apogee Stadium from 6-8 p.m., talking about his program, the move to Conference USA, and socializing with guests.
Mean Green Olympic Sports Passes, which provides admission to all home soccer, volleyball and softball events, are available at the Mean Green ticket office for $50 for adults and $30 for children 17 and under.
Recent NCAA Appearances (Last Trip):