June 6, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by 12 home contests, the Air Force volleyball team announced its schedule for the 2013 season this afternoon. With four tournaments, 20 Mountain West contests and five opponents that competed in last year's NCAA Tournament, the Falcons will play 32 regular-season matches in the upcoming year - the most since 2005.
"I am thrilled with this schedule," fourth-year head coach Matt McShane said. "I love that we get to face Army and Navy again; plus our tournament at The Pentagon has some great opponents. Stanford should be ranked near the top in the preseason poll and Yale has won the last three Ivy League titles. Our opening tournament is a great first tournament for us, the one in San Francisco is a good, challenging set of matches and we've got a great lineup for our home tournament."
Air Force opens the 2013 campaign on Friday, Aug. 30, at the Pioneer Classic in Denver. The Falcons will take on host Denver that evening, before facing UC Irvine and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday, Aug. 31.
The Falcons remain on the road for the next two weeks, traveling to both coasts for a total of seven matches. Making the first of three trips to California in 2013, Air Force will face San Francisco on Friday, Sept. 6, before taking on Long Beach State and St. Mary's College on Saturday, Sept. 7. The Falcons will then travel to Annapolis, Md., for a match with Navy on Wednesday, Sept. 11, before heading to Arlington, Va., for the second-annual Service Academy Challenge on Sept. 12-13. While at The Pentagon, Air Force will face Army, Yale and six-time NCAA champion Stanford.
Air Force opens its home schedule on Thursday, Sept. 19, when it welcomes New Mexico to the Cadet West Gym for its Mountain West opener. The Falcons remain at home for the next four matches, which include non-conference contests against UC Riverside and Utah Valley on Saturday, Sept. 21, and league matches against Colorado State (Thursday, Sept. 26) and Wyoming (Saturday, Sept. 28).
Conference matches will dominate the remainder of the season, as the month of October opens with road contests at Boise State (Thursday, Oct. 3) and MW-newcomer Utah State (Saturday, Oct 5). Following home matches against UNLV (Thursday, Oct. 10) and San Diego State (Saturday, Oct. 12), Air Force will head to San Jose State on Thursday, Oct. 18, for the first match against the league's other new program. The Falcons will face Fresno State on Friday, Oct. 19, before closing out the first half of the conference season against Nevada at the Academy on Thursday, Oct. 24.
The second half of league play begins on the road, as Air Force travels to San Diego State on Thursday, Oct. 31. Following a match at UNLV on Saturday, Nov. 2, the Falcons return home for contests against Utah State (Thursday, Nov. 7) and Boise State (Saturday, Nov. 9). Back-to-back nights at Wyoming (Thursday, Nov. 14) and Colorado State (Friday, Nov. 15) start a two-week span of matches away from the Academy for the Falcons, who will then travel to New Mexico (Thursday, Nov. 20) and Nevada (Saturday, Nov. 22). Air Force closes out the 2013 regular season over Thanksgiving weekend, when it hosts Fresno State (Wednesday, Nov. 27) and San Jose State (Friday, Nov. 29).
"It's the new Mountain West," McShane said of the 20-match schedule. "I think this really balances out the schedule and I'm looking forward to getting back to Utah. It'll be a battle for the conference title again this year. We've continued to improve each year and I think that we will make the biggest jump we've made in conference play since I've been here."