OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss volleyball team announced its 2013 schedule Monday, highlighted by a pair of home tournaments in September prior to the always grueling Southeastern Conference slate.
Entering his 12th season at the helm, Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said he likes the mixtures of teams and playing styles his Rebels will face in 2013, and he's excited to get started on the year.
"Overall, it's a very challenging schedule for us, but I like the way it sets up with the type of teams we're playing in the preseason," Getzin said. "It gives us a lot of good competition that will prepare us for a tough SEC schedule. We have an SEC schedule where we will get to see the best and we're excited about that. There will be a difficult test in there for us with being on the road for a stretch at the beginning of November, but championship teams have to be able to perform on the road as well. We're looking forward to that challenge."
Ole Miss will open its season in the nation's capital Friday, Aug. 30, against UMBC in the Colonel Classic hosted by George Washington. The Rebels will then play a doubleheader Aug. 31 against Maryland and the tournament host Colonels.
Ole Miss will come home to the Gillom Sports Center to play the first of its two home tournaments, the Magnolia Invitational, the following weekend. The Rebels open the invitational with a doubleheader Sept. 6 against Kennesaw State and Georgia Southern. Ole Miss will close out the tournament Sept. 7 against Arkansas State.
"Playing two tournaments at the Gillom Center gives us an opportunity to play in front of our fans a little bit more," Getzin said. "The SEC cut down its schedule, so it opened up a weekend for us. We're always excited to be playing at home in front of our fans."
The following weekend, Ole Miss will play in its largest tournament of the season, the TCU Tournament, where it will play a pair of doubleheaders Sept. 13 and Sept. 14. Ole Miss will open the tournament Sept. 13 in Fort Worth, Texas, against Grambling State and Stephen F. Austin. The Rebels will then face Houston on Sept. 14, followed by their final match of the tournament against tournament host TCU.
Ole Miss closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 with the Rebel Classic, where it will play host to Southern Miss, Chattanooga and Louisiana. After facing Southern Miss on Sept. 20, Ole Miss will play a doubleheader Sept. 21 against Chattanooga and Louisiana.
"There will be a mixture of teams that play different styles at our two home tournaments," Getzin said. "That prepares us more for the SEC, and with us being a young team to start, that will be a good schedule for them. In our preseason, we should be able to compete with everyone on our schedule. That's what I'm looking for to get out of the gate."
The Rebels will open SEC action with a pair of home matches against Arkansas on Friday, Sept. 27, and the defending conference champion Florida Gators on Sunday, Sept. 29.
Ole Miss' first road weekend of the SEC season will come the next week when it heads north to Lexington, Ky., to face Kentucky on Oct. 4, followed by a road match at Georgia on Oct. 6.
Ole Miss will split a weekend on the road and at home the following week when it travels to LSU (Oct. 11), followed by a home match against Auburn (Oct. 13).
The Rebels will stay in beautiful Oxford, Miss., for another home weekend Oct. 18 and Oct. 20 against Tennessee and South Carolina, respectively, before getting a week off from matches.
Following its off-week, Ole Miss will play four straight matches on the road, beginning with matches at Missouri (Nov. 1) and Arkansas (Nov. 3).
Ole Miss will face Mississippi State in a midweek match on Wednesday, Nov. 6, in Starkville, followed by another road match Friday, Nov. 8 at Tennessee. The Rebels will close out the week with a home match against Texas A&M, the 2012 SEC Western Division Champions, on Nov. 10.
"There are things you can control and there are things you can't control," Getzin said. "The SEC schedule is a difficult schedule - it always is - but it's not something we can control. We will do everything we can to take care of our business. Like any other schedule, you have to win at home and try to get some wins on the road where it's much tougher in the SEC to win. Our team is a group that's up to it and we're looking forward to those challenges."
Ole Miss will complete its season series against Georgia and Kentucky on Nov. 15 and Nov. 17, respectively, before playing its final two road matches of the regular season against Alabama and Auburn on Nov. 22 and Nov. 24.
The final match of the regular season will be Wednesday, Nov. 27, against LSU at 7 p.m. CT where the Rebels will honor their two seniors, Kellie Goss and Kara Morgan.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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