JEFFERSON CITY — Featuring a slate against every 2018 regional participant, Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin released the 2019 volleyball schedule Monday as the Eagles get set for 29 games, 15 at home and 12 against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
The Eagles will play each of the eight teams that qualified for the Southeast Regional last season including a pair of contests against each of the top two seeds, Wingate and USC Aiken.
For the third consecutive campaign, C-N opens the season with a short venture to Harrogate to play three matches. Franklin’s crew has won five of the six contests over the past two years. The first whistle sounds off at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. against King, a team that the Eagles have won six of the last seven sets.
Later in the evening at 5 p.m. USC Aiken poses the first big challenge of the year. C-N has won just one set over the past four meetings having not taken down the Pacers since a sweep on Nov. 20, 2014 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Wingate’s Cuddy Arena.
Opening weekend wraps up on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the 2018 champion of Conference Carolinas, Emmanuel. The Lions were swept last season by the Orange and Blue.
One week later, the team opens South Atlantic Conference action welcoming first-year member Virginia-Wise to the league in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs on Sept. 13 for a 7 p.m. first serve that will open Holt Fieldhouse for business.
It starts a stretch where Carson-Newman plays 10 games in-a-row against conference foes. After hosting Tusculum, the Eagles play five of the final six games of the first month of the year on the road. September features eight of 11 on the road. Two of the team’s four Tuesday matches on the season occupy Sept. 17 and Sept. 24 with a trek to Mars Hill and a home date against Lincoln Memorial.
October should prove to be the pivotal month for Franklin’s flock with 10 of 12 outings coming at home and seven of those affairs coming against 2018 NCAA qualifiers. The month opens with an eight-game homestand. It is the longest home stretch this decade passing a six-game string in 2015.
Circle the calendar dates of Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 as Carson-Newman hosts the SAC/Peach Belt Crossover playing at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. each day starting with Georgia College and Aiken on Friday and Augusta and Lander on Saturday.
The tests continue starting a week later against the reigning region champs, Wingate, in the second meeting of the season at Mossy Creek on Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. Following a road trip to LMU on Oct. 22, the club gets a home date with Anderson on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Six contests, none versus postseason units, highlight the stretch run of the year in November with four road affairs. Senior weekend is slated for Nov. 8-9 with Mars Hill and Lenoir-Rhyne visiting. The regular season concludes on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. at Catawba.
The SAC Tournament starts on Nov. 19 at campus sites of the top four seeds before the semifinals and finals are held in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Nov. 22-23.