Posted: Jun 15, 2012 3:13 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - A Labor Day weekend tournament at Earl K. Long Gym highlights the home portion of the 2012 Ragin' Cajuns volleyball schedule which was unveiled by head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot on Friday.
Louisiana will once again host the Bon Temps Invitational during Labor Day weekend, marking the first of 11 matches slated for Earl K. Long Gym in 2012. The Cajuns welcome Houston Baptist, McNeese State and Southern Miss for the event, scheduled for Friday-Saturday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
"Our home tournament gives our community a chance to see us consistently over a weekend early in the season," Mazeitis-Fontenot said. "It's also an excellent opportunity to build our fan base before our conference season starts in late September."
The Ragin' Cajuns 32-match slate also features pre-conference tournaments at Sam Houston State (Aug. 24-25), University of Florida (Sept. 7-8) and University of Memphis (Sept. 14-15), in addition to the 14-match Sun Belt Conference slate.
UL will face four teams that advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the first of those matchups coming on Tuesday, Aug. 28 in Jackson, Miss., against defending SWAC champion Jackson State (29-10 in 2011). Meetings with SEC-power Florida (Sept. 8) and conference foes Western Kentucky (Sept. 28) and Middle Tennessee (Sept. 29) mark the other NCAA Tournament participants on the slate.
"Consistently from the top to the bottom we are playing some quality teams," Mazeitis-Fontenot remarked. "Going to Florida to Gainesville to see some teams we haven't seen before is exciting.
"Looking at the conference schedule, we have a lot of experience, so I am counting on the girls with experience to come in from the first day and show that experience and maturity and carry us so we can build upon last season's strong finish. Toward the end of the season last year we produced a five-match win streak and we're hoping to pick up where we left off. This schedule is tough, and will be grueling, but I believe we'll be ready for the challenge."
The fifth season of Mazeitis-Fontenot's tenure officially begins Friday-Saturday, Aug. 24-25 in the Sam Houston Invitational at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville, Texas. UL opens tournament play against host-Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24.
The midweek trip to Jackson State precedes the Bon Temps Invitational at Earl K. Long Gym (Aug. 31-Sept. 1).
The first two weeks of September feature a midweek matchup and pre-conference tournament combination, starting with a visit to Lamar on Tuesday, Sept. 4 followed by a trip to Gainesville, Fla., for the University of Florida-hosted Active Ankle Challenge (Sept. 7-8). In addition to Florida, UL will meet Georgia Tech and Jacksonville in Gainesville.
A home match with Southern on Tuesday, Sept. 11 opens play the following week. Then a trip to Memphis, Tenn., for the Tiger Invitational (Sept. 14-15) concludes pre-conference tournament action. The Cajuns are set to face Alabama A&M, Belmont, Illinois-Chicago and Memphis during the Tiger Invitational.
Sun Belt Conference play begins at in-state rival La.-Monroe on Thursday, Sept. 20. UL will be seeking to avenge a season sweep at the hands of the Warhawks last season.
The first of three Sun Belt weekends at E.K. Long Gym takes place Friday-Saturday, Sept. 28-29 as the Cajuns host Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee.
Other SBC weekends at home are set for Friday-Saturday, Oct. 12-13 against the Arkansas schools and Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 27-28 featuring La.-Monroe and North Texas.
Following the ULM-NT weekend, Louisiana concludes Sun Belt Conference action with the Arkansas road swing visiting Arkansas State on Friday, Nov. 2 and UALR on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Former Sun Belt Conference foe New Orleans recently returned to the Division I ranks and the Cajuns meet the Privateers in the regular season and home finale on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The matchup will complete a home-and-home between the former SBC rivals (UL travels to New Orleans on Tuesday, Oct. 16).
The 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament is being held Nov. 15-17 at E.A. Diddle Arena on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky.