CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball head coach Lisa Rhodes released the 2010 schedule on Tuesday. Thirty-Two matches are on the slate and include the Chattanooga Invitational featuring Belmont, James Madison and UCF, while the Lady Mocs travel to Kansas, Tennessee and North Florida for weekend tournaments before beginning Southern Conference action.
"The pre-season schedule has been put together to challenge the team by playing some experienced and talented squads," said Rhodes, "Each tournament is going to provide different challenges that in the end will help to prepare us for the conference schedule."
Kicking off the 2010 campaign, Chattanooga travels up I-75 to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Tennessee Invitational on Aug. 27-28 to battle the host Volunteers along with Virginia Tech and Xavier.
A homecoming for junior Jessica Scott, a native of Lawrence, Kan., follows as the Lady Mocs play Arkansas, Akron and the host Jayhawks at the Kansas Invitational from Sept. 3-4.
The first mid-week game of the season comes on Sept. 7 at Belmont before heading to Jacksonville, Fla. for the UNF Invitational. Four teams, North Florida, Illinois-Chicago, Troy and Charleston Southern are set to play the Lady Mocs from Sept. 10-11 as freshman Paula Passmore (Merritt Island, Fla.) has an opportunity to compete in her home state.
Just like in 2009 after a couple of road trips to begin the season, Chattanooga opens its home slate on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. against Belmont during the Chattanooga Invitational. On Saturday, the Lady Mocs play a doubleheader against UCF and James Madison beginning at 11:30 a.m.
In the only mid-week home game, the Lady Mocs host East Tennessee State on Sept. 22 before beginning Southern Conference action on the road at UNC Greensboro and Elon on Sept. 25-26.
"Each conference game is a battle," said Rhodes. "Since all the teams know your tendencies, there are no surprises and we need to be prepared from the start as we begin with two matches within our division."
Chattanooga plays its first three conference matches on the road concluding on Oct. 2 as they travel to Georgia Southern. Savannah State closes out the non-conference slate on Oct. 3 as the Lady Mocs are able to play twice on the road trip.
A three-match homestand begins on Oct. 6 as Samford comes to the Scenic City for a mid-week showdown, while Western Carolina and Appalachian State are welcomed to Maclellan Gym on Oct. 9-10.
During the weekend of Oct. 16, the Lady Mocs head to Charleston, S.C., to face The Citadel and College of Charleston.
Coming back to Maclellan Gym, Chattanooga hosts Wofford and Furman on Oct. 23-24 and battles Elon and UNC Greensboro to close out the month, while a road trip on Oct. 27 to Samford is sandwiched in between the four-home matches.
The final regular-season road trip is to Appalachian State and Western Carolina on Nov. 6-7, which should prove to be key north division contests.
The Lady Mocs close out SoCon action on Nov. 13 with Senior Day against Davidson at 6 p.m.
After budget cuts reduced the Southern Conference Championship to four teams in 2009, the tournament returns to an eight-team format as the top four teams in each division square off at a site to be determined later.
Last year, Chattanooga finished with a 12-17 overall mark and 4-8 in the Southern Conference as the squad was one of the youngest in recent memory. The Lady Mocs began the campaign at 8-3, the best start since 1999, which included the title at the Lady Techster Home Tournament. Both middle blockers Ellie Kuhn (San Antonio, Texas) and Courtney Barnes (Franklin, Tenn.) are returning, who were crucial pieces to the offense last season. Passmore averaged 5.41 digs per set pacing the defense during her freshman campaign.