The Lander volleyball program has announced its 2017 schedule, featuring 11 home matches and six matches against NCAA Tournament participants from last year. The campaign marks the 20th season of Bearcat volleyball.
"I am really looking forward to the opportunities that this year's schedule presents," said Lander head coach Ashley Stathas. "We have several off weekends that I think will offer our bodies some much needed rest. We are also playing in the PBC/SAC Crossover again this year, which will provide us with some great region competition."
Lander opens the season at the Newberry Volleyball Invitational against Coker and Southern Wesleyan (Sept. 1) and North Greenville and Newberry (Sept. 2). The following week, the Bearcats participate in the USC Aiken Volleyball Invitational, facing Anderson and Barton (Sept. 8) and Valdosta State and Mount Olive (Sept. 9.)
The Bearcats open the Peach Belt Conference portion of the schedule with three consecutive matches at Horne Arena. Lander hosts UNC Pembroke in the home opener (Sept. 15) at 7:00 p.m. and wraps up the weekend against Francis Marion (Sept. 16) at 2:00 p.m. The Bearcats then face Augusta (Sept. 22) at 7:00 p.m.
After a trip to Georgia College (Sept. 26), the Bearcats conclude the month of September with a home match against Flagler (Sept. 30) at 2:00 p.m. Lander then travels to defending Southeast Regional champion USC Aiken (Oct. 4).
Lander plays host to Carson-Newman and NCAA Tournament participant Lincoln Memorial (Oct. 13) and Mars Hill and Tusculum (Oct. 14) in the PBC/SAC Crossover. The Bearcats then play four matches away from home in five days, traveling Limestone (Oct. 17) and Francis Marion (Oct. 20) before facing UNC Pembroke and Fayetteville State (Oct. 21) in Pembroke.
The Bearcats return home for three of the final five matches of the regular season, beginning with Dig Pink Night against Georgia College (Oct. 24) at 7:00 p.m., and a matchup with Emmanuel on Halloween Night at 7:00 p.m. The month of November opens with trips to Flagler (Nov. 3) and Augusta (Nov. 7).
Lander welcomes USC Aiken for Senior Night (Nov. 10) at 7:00 p.m., to wrap up the regular season.
The Bearcats returns seven players from the 2016 team that won 21 matches and made the program's third trip ever to the NCAA Tournament.