By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) - Excitement is already building for the 2018 season for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team. With their schedule now officially released and their spring season in full effect (the team takes on a pair of NAIA and Division II opponents this weekend in their spring tournament in St. Cloud), the Blugolds are ready to get back to the court and contend for a conference title and trip back to the national tournament.
In looking at the 2018 season ahead, Head Coach Kim Wudi said, "With over one-third of our 2018 opponents coming off of NCAA tournament appearances, I'm confident our schedule sets us up to be in the hunt for a conference championship and national tournament bid."
The Blugolds fared quite well in conference play a season ago, going 6-1 against Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) opponents en route to their 17-11 overall record. The Blugolds' 2018 WIAC opener is set to take place at UW-River Falls on September 19, and a week later, Eau Claire will host their first WIAC match against UW-Platteville on September 26. Also traveling to the McPhee Center this season are UW-La Crosse (October 10), UW-Stevens Point (Oct. 13), and UW-Whitewater (Oct. 26).
"We're looking forward to facing familiar teams from the Midwest and also mixing things up with some new opponents on our trips to New Jersey and Michigan," added Wudi.
In addition to the annual Sandy Schumacher Memorial Tournament, the Blugolds will also hit the road and play in tournaments at Kean University (Union, NJ), Augsburg University, and Olivet and Albion Colleges in Michigan. They also will make weekend trips to Waukesha, WI and Decatur, IL.
"We'll need to adopt a bit of a "road warrior" mentality this fall," said Wudi. "With some longer road trips planned...Our bus rides provide outstanding team bonding opportunities, and we are always fortunate to have a faithful contingent of Blugold family and friends supporting us on the road, just as they do at McPhee."
The WIAC Tournament is scheduled to begin on October 30, and will conclude with the semifinals on November 1 and the Championship on November 3. Dependant on how the season and conference tournament go, the Blugolds then hope to be playing in the NCAA Tournament the following two weeks in November.
Follow the action all season long on Blugold Game Day.