Western Carolina Releases 2004 Volleyball Schedule

July 1, 2004

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina University head volleyball coach Angell Benson has announced the schedule for the 2004 season, which features three tournaments on the road, a chance to face Atlantic Coast Conference foe Clemson twice and a challenging Southern Conference slate, including the opportunity to host the SoCon Championship for the first time since 1999.

The Catamounts will spend the entire first month of the 2004 season on the road, starting with a match-up against the Tigers in Clemson, S.C., on Sept. 1. Two days later, WCU returns to Jarvey Gymnasium for the Clemson Invitational where the Cats will face The Citadel, Northern Iowa and Winthrop, in addition to the host team. After facing Gardner-Webb on Sept. 7, Western heads to Buies Creek, N.C., for the Campbell University Tournament. Other than the Camels, the Catamounts will square off against Wofford and UNC Asheville.

In Western Carolina's final tournament of the 2004 season, the team will travel to Orlando, Fla., to face the host Golden Knights of Central Florida, Georgia and South Alabama. The Catamounts immediately open their SoCon schedule upon completion of the tournament as they play at Chattanooga on Sept. 24 and East Tennessee State two days later.

"The 2004 tournament schedule will challenge our team to be better prepared for the SoCon schedule," Benson stated. "Competing against UCF, which went to the second round of the NCAA tournament, will be good for us. Playing Georgia, Clemson and Northern Iowa will improve our team's ability to contend at a higher level."

The Cats finally return to Cullowhee for their first home match of the season to host Elon on Oct. 1, followed by UNC Greensboro the next day. In addition to the Phoenix and the Spartans, Western Carolina plays host to The Citadel, Wofford, Furman, Coastal Carolina, ETSU, Chattanooga and Appalachian State in 2004. The meeting with the Mountaineers on Nov. 14 marks the end of the regular-season for the Catamounts. Cullowhee stands as the host site for this year's Southern Conference Championship, which will be held in the Ramsey Center Nov. 18-21.

"I feel confident in doing well in the conference this season," Benson said. "The returners know exactly what to expect from each team and will know how to compete at this level. There is an excellent balance between the upperclassmen and freshmen that will only enhance our opportunities to be successful."

The Catamounts return eight from the 2003 squad, including last year's SoCon Freshman of the Year, Kellyn Thaut. Joining this core will be Danielle Spitzer, who redshirted the 2003 season, walk-on sophomore Genevieve Johnson and three talented freshmen.

Western Carolina University 2004 Volleyball Schedule

1      Clemson                 Clemson, SC          7:00pm
       Clemson Tournament      Clemson, SC		
3      The Citadel                                  9:00am
3      Clemson                                      2:00pm
4      Northern Iowa                                11:30am
4      Winthrop                                     7:00pm
7      Gardner-Webb            Boiling Springs,NC   7:00pm
       Campbell Tournament     Buies Creek, NC	
10     Wofford                                      5:00pm
11     Campbell                                     12:00pm
11     UNC Asheville                                3:00pm
       UCF Tournament          Orlando, FL		
17     South Alabama                                4:30pm
18     Georgia                                      11:00am
18     Central Florida                              7:00pm
24     Chattanooga *           Chattanooga, TN      7:00pm
25     East Tennessee State *  Johnson City, TN     2:00pm
1      Elon *                  Cullowhee, NC        7:00pm
2      UNC Greensboro *        Cullowhee, NC        2:00pm
5      Appalachian State *     Boone, NC            7:00pm
8      College of Charleston * Charleston, SC       7:00pm
10     The Citadel *           Cullowhee, NC        2:00pm
12     Wofford *               Cullowhee, NC        7:00pm
15     Furman *                Cullowhee, NC        7:00pm
17     Coastal Carolina        Cullowhee, NC        2:00pm
19     UNC Asheville           Asheville, NC        7:00pm
22     Georgia Southern *      Statesboro, GA       7:00pm
24     Davidson *              Davidson, NC         2:00pm
26     East Tennessee State *  Cullowhee, NC        7:00pm
28     Chattanooga *           Cullowhee, NC        7:00pm
5      Elon *                  Elon, NC             7:00pm
6      UNC Greensboro *        Greensboro, NC       2:00pm
14     Appalachian State *     Cullowhee, NC        2:00pm
18-21  SoCon Tournament        Cullowhee, NC        TBA