CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Head Western Carolina volleyball coach, Karen Glover, announced the Catamounts' 32-match 2015 season slate Friday highlighted by the Catamount Volleyball Classic, a six-game tournament hosted by WCU inside the Ramsay Center to open the 2015 season. The Catamounts will also be hosting the 2015 Southern Conference Tournament in late November.
The schedule features 13 home contests and four matches against 2014 NCAA Tournament participants. The Catamounts will travel to Howard, East Carolina and Tennessee Tech for early season tournaments before getting into their 16-game conference schedule.
"I am excited to kick off the 2015 season with our home tournament," said Glover. "We put in a lot of hard work this past spring and we are looking forward to opening play in front of our fans. Our non-conference schedule should prepare us well for the competitive Southern Conference and we are thrilled to be hosting the conference championship this year. There is going to be a lot of great volleyball in Cullowhee this year and I can't wait for the season to start."
The season will open up Aug. 28-29 as the Catamounts host Fresno State, Georgia State and defending Ohio Valley Conference Champion Murray State in a round robin tournament inside the Ramsay Center. WCU will play its first match Friday, Aug. 28 at 6:30 p.m. against GSU.
The Catamounts will then travel to Howard for a tournament Sept. 5-6 as they take on George Mason, Howard, Penn and Big Ten member Maryland.
WCU will return home Tuesday, Sept. 8 to renew its mountain rivalry with UNC Asheville with a 7 p.m. match before hitting the road again for a tournament at East Carolina Sept. 11-12. WCU will face William and Mary, ECU and defending MEAC Champion Hampton.
After a one-year hiatus, Appalachian State returns to the Catamounts' schedule as Western Carolina travels to Boone to face the Mountaineers on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Western Carolina's final regular season tournament is Sept. 18-19 as WCU travels to Tennessee Tech to face Idaho, Towson and host Tennessee Tech.
The Catamounts will close out the non-conference portion of their schedule Tuesday, Sept. 22 as they host High Point University at 7 p.m.
WCU's first Southern Conference match will come at home as Wofford travels to Cullowhee on Friday, Sept. 25 for a 6 p.m. start. The Catamounts will play eight of their first 13 conference matches on the road before closing out the regular season with a three-game home stand against Mercer (Nov. 7), Samford (Nov. 13) and Chattanooga (Nov. 14).
The Catamounts will host the 2015 Southern Conference Tournament, Nov. 21-23, with a bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
The Catamounts return four of their seven starters from last season including All-Freshman team selection Jo-Leigh Vervelde who recorded the program's first triple-double last season. Joining Vervelde among the returning starters are senior setter Cristina Nazario, sophomore middle blocker Katie O'Connor and senior libero Elyssa Mulheron. Senior Nicole Ford, who started the first six matches of last season before missing the rest of the year due to injury, will also return in the middle.