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UMBC Volleyball 2009 Schedule and Quick Facts Now Available
BALTIMORE—The UMBC volleyball team will kick off the 2009 season at home on Aug. 29 with the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament, head coach Ian Blanchard announced today.
The tri-match will consist of the host Retrievers, Long Island University and former America East foe Northeastern. The tournament is named for Madison Bingaman, a 2007 incoming freshman that was tragically killed in a car accident in Tennessee. Her father, Mark, who has started a fund in Madison’s name to enrich the volleyball program, will be on hand at the tournament.
The following weekend sees the Retrievers travelling to California to take on three first-time opponents in a tournament hosted by Long Beach State and UC-Irvine on Sept. 4-5. UMBC will face UC-Irvine, Indiana State and five-time national champion Long Beach State.
“We’re really excited about this trip on so many different levels,” Blanchard said. “Three of our girls are from California, so it is nice for them to be playing close to home. We also know the challenge is great, but we’re going to have fun and put our best foot forward.”
The Retrievers travel to Philadelphia for a tournament at Villanova on Sept. 11-12, where they will play the host Wildcats, George Washington and Princeton. The following weekend Sept. 18-19, UMBC will travel down I-95 to College Park, Md., to take on VCU, Howard and Maryland. UMBC has never defeated the Terps in nine previous meetings and the teams have not met since 2002.
“We are going to challenge ourselves early in the season, and that’s going to prepare us for conference play,” Blanchard said. “The key to the preseason is to learn as much as we can about our team, like who is going to play where and what improvements we need to make for the conference schedule.”
The Retrievers will also see mid-week non-conference matchups against regional rivals George Mason, Morgan State, James Madison and Towson. UMBC’s America East schedule begins at Hartford on Oct. 4 before opening its home conference slate against New Hampshire on Oct. 9. They will conclude its home play against Binghamton on Nov. 7. The America East Championship will be played at the home court of the No. 1 seed Nov. 20-22.
“The conference is wide open this year, and I’m excited about our chances,” Blanchard said. “The girls have been taking the summer very seriously and everybody’s ready to do what’s necessary to win a championship.”
For the second year in a row, every UMBC volleyball home game will broadcast live at umbcretrievers.tv.