Appalachian State volleyball head coach Matt Ginipro has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2019 season.
The 29-match slate features 10 contests in the Holmes Center and five matches against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams.
"We are excited to get going with the 2019 season and look forward to playing a tough non-conference schedule to get ready for Sun Belt play," said Ginipro. "At the end of the 2018 season, our players wanted to keep pushing to get better and wanted our schedule to be challenging."
App State will be tested right out of the gate, traveling to Arizona for the Cactus Classic to face three teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season. The Mountaineers open the season on Aug. 30 against host Arizona and Samford, before closing out play on Aug. 31 against Loyola Marymount.
The next weekend, the Black and Gold travel to Duke for the Duke Invitational. On Sept. 6, the Mountaineers battle both UNC Wilmington and Wofford. The Mountaineers also play NCAA Tournament qualifier Duke on Sept. 7 to close out the tournament.
On Sept. 10, App State will hit the road for a non-conference tilt at Clemson, before hosting the Appalachian Invitational from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14. The Mountaineers host Western Carolina on Sept. 12, defending NIVC champion Iowa State on Sept. 13 and N.C. State on Sept. 14 during their annual tournament.
The Black and Gold close out non-conference play with a trio of contests in South Carolina on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21. On Sept. 20, the Black and Gold battle Furman and Winthrop, with both contests coming in Rock Hill, S.C. App State will also take on Big Ten foe Maryland in Columbia S.C. on Sept. 21, to close our non-conference play.
Sun Belt play begins on Sept. 27, with the Mountaineers hosting Georgia State, followed by Georgia Southern on Sept. 29.
App State's first conference weekend will be played in Louisiana, with road matches at Louisiana on Oct. 4 and at ULM on Oct. 6.
The Mountaineers will be on the road for a second straight weekend on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, taking on Arkansas State and Little Rock. App State plays its fifth straight Sun Belt road match on Oct. 16 at Coastal Carolina, before hosting the Chanticleers in Boone on Oct. 18.
App State welcomes the Texas schools to the High Country during the final weekend of October. On Oct. 25, the Mountaineers will play host to UT Arlington, followed by a showdown with defending Sun Belt Tournament champion Texas State on Oct. 27.
The Black and Gold return right back to the road for four contests at Troy (Nov. 1), South Alabama (Nov. 2), Georgia Southern (Nov. 8) and Georgia State (Nov. 9).
The Mountaineers close out the regular season at home on Nov. 15 against South Alabama and Nov. 17 against Troy on Senior Day.
The Sun Belt Tournament begins on Nov. 21 and runs through Nov. 24, with the winner earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
"We open up at Arizona with three teams who were in the NCAA Tournament last season, so that will test us right away. I'm happy we are able to bring Kara Spicer and Grace Morrison back to their home state since they made the commitment to travel across the country to play for App State," added Ginipro. "The rest of our non-conference schedule has a great mix of Big 12, ACC and mid-major opponents which will get us ready for the Sun Belt where we, clearly, want to get back to where we were in 2018."
The Black and Gold return 12 players from last season's squad that posted 22 wins, appeared in the Sun Belt Tournament championship match and qualified for the NIVC