SFA will play just two home non-conference matches in 2010

NACOGDOCHES, Texas ­ A road-heavy non-conference slate makes up the 2010 Ladyjack volleyball schedule Debbie Humphreys released on Tuesday, with just two non-conference home matches scheduled for Johnson Coliseum next season.

The Ladyjacks will take on seven teams that finished in the RPI top 100 last year, including five teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. SFA has four weekend tournaments scheduled before the beginning of conference play, all on the road, with only matches against ULM on August 31 and North Texas on Sept. 15 as home tune-ups before Southland Conference play begins on Sept. 30.

³We definitely have a tough, road-heavy schedule this upcoming season,² head coach Debbie Humphreys said. ³Even with all four non-conference tournaments being on the road, the fact that two of them ­ Baylor and Rice ­ are close, really helps things out. We knew we wanted a tough non-conference schedule, though, to get our girls used to a high caliber of competition and show them what it takes to win a conference title.²

Humphreys and her crew will start off in the Lone Star state when they open the season at the Baylor Classic on August 27 and 28. The Ladyjacks will get three matches in that weekend against Butler, SMU and Baylor just one year after the Lady Bears advanced to the Sweet 16 in last year¹s NCAA Tournament.

One week later, after its home opener against ULM, SFA will head to Wichita State where the Shockers are hosting the Shocker Classic one year after going two rounds deep in the NCAA Tournament themselves. Joining SFA and Wichita State will be Georgia State and Portland.

The final two tournaments of the year take place in Des Moines, Iowa, and Houston with SFA¹s final non-conference home match with North Texas squeezed in there as well on Sept. 15. The Ladyjacks will battle Drake, South Dakota, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Idaho State while at the Drake Tournament on Sept.

10 and 11, and take on Rice, Samford and Arkansas State at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston just one week later.

SFA begins its conference season on Sept 23 with a two-game road swing at Northwestern State and defending league champion Central Arkansas. The 16-game league slate keeps SFA on the road for no more than two matches in a row at any point throughout the season, while keeping them at home for no more than two straight matches as well.

The 2010 season will have the Ladyjacks transitioning back in to the SLC West Division after a two-year stint in the East, giving SFA home matches with five of the teams that qualified for last season¹s SLC Tournament.

The Ladyjacks home season is highlighted by an Oct. 20 tilt against rival Sam Houston, as well as a home match with Texas State just one day prior to Halloween in closing out the month of October.

Road matches at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and UTSA finish off the road portion of the schedule on Nov. 4 and 6 before SFA ends the regular season at home against McNeese State and Lamar on Nov. 11 and 13.

SFA will then head back to the Southland Conference Tournament, set for Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville on Nov. 19-21.

The Ladyjacks put together their sixth consecutive 20-win season a year ago, advancing to the SLC Tournament finals.