June 11, 2014
BEAUMONT – Local fans will have to wait a bit before they get a chance to see the new-look Lamar volleyball team this season as first-year head coach Alan Edwards will take his team on the road for the first four weekends of the season before taking on Sam Houston State at McDonald Gym on September 27.
“I think the first four weeks gives us a chance to establish a road routine, which will be important to us in conference season,” Edwards explained. “Since we’re going to have a lot of changes on this year’s team, it will also be an opportunity to bond as a team as well as put us up against some high-level competition. Taking on Big 12 and SEC schools will let us set that bar pretty high for ourselves as we prepare for a fairly tough conference season.”
Edwards, who came to Lamar after a successful assistant coaching stint at Tennessee, has offered up a challenging non-conference slate, beginning with a trip to Houston for the opening weekend. The Lady Cardinals will start off with a familiar foe in Texas State on August 29 before facing off against Houston later in the day. LU will battle ACC foe Wake Forest a day later to close out the weekend.
As the calendar turns to September, the Red and White will travel to Edinburg for Texas-Pan American’s tournament. After opening up against the Broncs on September 5, the Lady Cards will take on both Northern Arizona and another major conference opponent in the Big 12’s Texas Tech.
Another Big 12 power is on the slate a week later in Norman, Okla., as LU will take on Portland State, UALR and Oklahoma. The non-conference slate will wind down in Oxford, Miss., with matches against Samford, Louisiana Tech and Ole Miss.
The home opener vs. SHSU also serves as the start of conference play, which will be similarly road-heavy in the early goings. Following the Bearkats’ trip to Beaumont, the Lady Cards will play seven of 10 on the road before coming back to McDonald Gym for a four-match homestand, beginning with Stephen F. Austin on November 4.
A trip to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be the final regular season match of the year 11 days later, and the Southland Tournament will begin on November 21 on the campus of Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La.