CLEMSON, SC - Clemson head volleyball coach Jolene Jordan Hoover announced the program’s 2013 match schedule on Tuesday. The slate includes 16 home matches and 15 matches away from Jervey Gym, and a total of 20 conference matches. Seventeen of Clemson’s 25 opponents in 2013 finished last season in the top 150 (out of 330) of the RPI, and features six NCAA Tournament teams.
“The last few years he have been right there in the RPI and been a bubble team and not gotten in,” explained Hoover, who is entering her 21st season. “This year we really made a concerted effort to try to schedule with RPI in mind, and so that was a focal point. We’ll see how that helps us this year, but we really tried to focus on keeping the lowest RPI numbers we could, and schedule that way. It’s probably the toughest from start to finish, balance-wise that we’ve had.”
Clemson has scheduled tournaments at Xavier and Georgia State, and will also play host to the Big Orange Bash and the Clemson Classic. After four weekends of tournament play, the Tigers will jump into conference play for ten straight weeks to close the regular season. The ACC does not have a conference tournament to decide its champion.
While the Tigers will play 10 conference home matches and 10 conference road matches, the Tigers did draw a grueling road schedule, opening with a first-ever trip to Pittsburgh, followed by a match in Maryland after a day of travel. Clemson will also make road trips to Boston College and Syracuse, NC State and North Carolina, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, and Florida State and Miami.
“We seem to have drawn every one of the furthest road trips,” said Hoover, whose teams have won 20 or matches in five of the last six seasons. “Really, the main concern is that we’ll play many of those over a Friday-Sunday, so it’s a four-day road trip. It’s tough because even if you give the players Monday off of practice, they still have school. It’s tough because the girls never truly get a day off. We’re just going to have to pay attention to that and manage them pretty well to keep them fresh.”
The home schedule opens with the Big Orange Bash from Sept. 6-7, which serves as the state tournament. Clemson will play South Carolina on Friday, Sept. 6, and will play Winthrop and Furman the following day, which coincides with the football game against S.C. State.
The Clemson Classic features Alabama, Troy, and Delaware this seasonon Sept. 20-21, which will close the non-conference schedule.
After playing at Pitt and Maryland, Clemson will settle in for a six-match homestand from Oct. 4-20, which includes Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, and Duke.
Eight of the final 12 matches will be on the road, with visits from Virginia and Virginia Tech and Boston College and Syracuse to close out the regular season.
The NCAA Tournament starts on Dec. 5-6 or 6-7, depending on the site. The third round will take place in one of four regions, with 2013’s hosts being Southern Cal, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Illinois. The Final Four and Championship will be at Key Arena in Seattle Dec. 19 and 21.