Coming off of a banner season that saw the Cougars win the Southern Conference championship and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating No. 23 Miami in the first round, Charleston will look continue its success with just two players departed from last year’s team.
“I am really excited about this year’s schedule,” Kepner said. “We start the season with four great tournaments, all which will help prepare us for our first year in the CAA. Playing at Georgia Tech, Long Beach State, and Loyola Marymount will definitely be a challenge for this team. We are also fortunate to host some great teams including Indiana, Ball State, and SMU.”
The Cougars will open the season in Atlanta on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 with a tournament at Georgia Tech, featuring former SoCon opponent Chattanooga, Florida A&M and the host Yellow Jackets.
Charleston then hosts crosstown rival Charleston Southern on Sept. 3 before the weekend’s CofC Invitational featuring Coastal Carolina, South Carolina State and Indiana. The match against Indiana will feature the return of former CofC coach Sherry Dunbar, now the head coach of the Hoosiers.
With two players from California on the roster, the Cougars make a trip across the country to play in a tournament at Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount around the Los Angeles area. Charleston faces Seattle and LBSU on Sept. 13, followed by a single match at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 14.
The Cougars conclude the non-conference schedule with a five-team tournament at home on Sept. 20-21. Alabama A&M, SMU, UNC Asheville and Ball State will all make the trip to TD Arena, competing in three matches on Friday and five matches on Saturday.
“The CAA will be a challenging move for us but one that I think this team will embrace,” Kepner said. “Returning a veteran group will help us in the transition and help us remain focused through this first season.”
CofC opens its new CAA slate with a trip to Northeastern on Friday, Sept. 27, followed by a match at Hofstra on Sunday, Sept. 29. The Pride won the 2012 CAA tournament to earn the only conference bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Cougars continue on the road for the next two weekends, making the swing through Virginia with James Madison and William & Mary, followed by a single match at UNC Wilmington on Oct. 11.
All seven conference opponents will then come to TD Arena on a four-weekend homestand, kickstarted by William & Mary and JMU on Oct. 18 and 20. UNCW follows the next weekend for a match on Saturday, Oct. 26, with the Cougars seeing Delaware and Towson for the first time on the following weekend.
Charleston will celebrate Senior Day against Northeastern on Sunday, Nov. 10, before departing for the regular season’s last weekend at Towson and Delaware (Nov. 15/17).
The 2013 CAA Volleyball Tournament will be held on Nov. 22-24 at the venue of the regular season champion.