Volleyball Announces 2016 Schedule
WORCESTER, Mass.—The 2016 Holy Cross volleyball schedule has officially been released by head coach Melissa Batie-Smoose and director of athletics Nathan Pine. The Crusaders will play a 29-match slate during the regular season, with 13 non-conference matches and 16 matches against Patriot League opponents. Holy Cross is set to compete in four tournaments before the start of conference action.
Twelve matches will be played at home, as the Crusaders prepare to face 17 opponents on the road. The schedule also includes three NCAA Tournament participants from last year (American, Fairfield and New Hampshire).
“I have high expectations for this group, and the student-athletes returning are very excited about stepping into this season because they’ve grown, know what our goals are and want to take on those expectations,” said Batie-Smoose. “They are willing to work hard everyday to meet the team objectives and know what it takes to finish in the top four.”
First Stop: JMU Invitational
Starting off the regular season, the Crusaders head down south to Harrisonburg, Va., to embark in three matches at the James Madison University Invitational. First, Holy Cross will face Georgia State and North Carolina Central (Aug. 26) before playing James Madison on Aug. 27. The Crusaders will be squaring-off with each of these opponents for the first time in the program’s history.
Returning home, Holy Cross will host the Crusader Classic, consisting of eight matches total (one played at Brown), as the team will partake in three matches. During this span, Holy Cross will face Brown (Sept. 2), as well as UMass Lowell and Fairfield (Sept. 3). Other matches involved in the tournament include Brown vs. Fairfield, UMass Lowell vs. Bryant, Fairfield vs. Bryant (Sept. 2), as well as Fairfield vs. UMass Lowell and Brown vs. Bryant (Sept. 3). Fairfield won the MAAC last season to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 3 Texas in the first round.
The following week, the Crusaders will head to Providence, R.I. for three matches in the 12th Annual Friar Classic. On the list for opponents during this segment includes Providence (Sept. 9), followed by Quinnipiac and La Salle on Sept. 10. Providence and La Salle are both new additions to this year’s schedule.
On Sept. 13, Holy Cross will face Bryant at home before departing to New Hampshire for the weekend.
Wrapping Up The Non-Conference In New Hampshire
Next, the Crusaders head north for another three-match tournament, hosted by New Hampshire. The team is set to face defending America East conference champions, New Hampshire (Sept. 16) before taking on Idaho State and Sacred Heart on Sept. 17. Holy Cross will play the Bengals for the first time in the program’s history, and adds the Pioneers to this season’s schedule.
Bring On The Conference Action
Patriot League action begins after the four tournaments, as the Crusaders end the September season with three home matches against Army West Point (Sept. 20), Lehigh (Sept. 23) and Loyola Maryland (Sept. 30). The Black Knights finished second overall in the conference last season, as the Mountain Hawks notched third, and the Greyhounds were ninth.
On The Road In October
Then on Oct. 1, the Crusaders face last season’s Patriot League champions, American, in Worcester before playing the next eight matches on the road to wrap-up the October season. Patriot League opponents during this span include Lafayette (Oct. 7), Navy (Oct. 8), Lehigh (Oct. 14), Bucknell (Oct. 15), Army West Point (Oct. 19), Colgate (Oct. 22), American (Oct. 28) and Loyola Maryland (Oct. 29).
Concluding The Regular Season At Home
Returning home for November, the Crusaders will play out the remainder of their regular season in Worcester against Navy (Nov. 4), Lafayette (Nov. 5), Bucknell (Nov. 11) and Lehigh (Nov. 12).
Patriot League Tournament
The top four teams in the conference advance to the Patriot League Tournament, taking place from Nov. 19-20. The highest seed will host the tournament.
“That has been the goal of the returners to finish in the top four,” said Batie-Smoose. “Now they understand a little bit more what they have to do to be there. We have to be that team that outworks our opponents, and I think they totally embrace that. I’m excited for our returners and some added dynamic that we didn’t have last season.”
There are numerous ways to stay connected with the Holy Cross volleyball team. Follow the Crusaders on Twitter @HCrossVB, on Facebook and on Instagram. You can also get the latest news and results on the team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts go here.
Support Our Student-Athletes
To help Holy Cross student-athletes continue to succeed in the classroom and in competition, please consider making a gift to the Crusader Athletics Fund by clicking here.