Argonauts set to combat D-II volleyball's best early in 2012
Five of first six opponents ranked among top 20 in the nation
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For many head volleyball coaches at the Division II level, the University of West Florida’s early season schedule may seem like something out of a nightmare.
Fortunately for the Argonauts, tenth-year head coach Melissa Wolter won’t be shuddering at the thought of facing off against five top 20 opponents in her first six games. After all, Wolter – who was the architect of the harrowing early season schedule – has taught her players to expect a strenuous gauntlet right out of the gates.
“We have enough players who have played in our program for a while and know that I schedule tough to begin the season,” said Wolter. “I think they enjoy that. They’d rather come out of the gate playing teams that are going to test us rather than feeling extra-confident going into the conference season.”
UWF starts off the season by welcoming three of the top ten teams in the nation to Pensacola to participate in the Hemingway’s Island Grill Invitational on August 31 and September 1. No. 5-ranked Central Missouri is the second opponent of the 2012 campaign for the Argonauts before they face No. 10 Indianapolis and No. 2-ranked Tampa just five hours apart on September 1.
Things won’t get any easier for the Argonauts, who received 33 votes in the AVCA Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll which was released today, as they travel to Colorado to take on five-time defending NCAA Division II National Champion and No. 1-ranked Concordia-St. Paul out of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference before tangling with No. 18 Lewis, which is a representative of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Both of those matches will occur on September 7.
Just because those first few weeks of competition will be in the rearview mirror doesn’t mean the schedule gets any less difficult as the season progresses. The Argonauts face yet another difficult stretch when they travel to Tampa on October 19-20 to take on the Spartans yet again before clashing with No. 22 Rollins and No. 19 Eckerd.
The Argonauts began their preseason practices on Monday, August 13, and have their eyes on a fifth consecutive Gulf South Conference Championship. Before focusing on that goal, however, they must make it through a brutal two-week initiation period.
“We’re going to find out what we’re made of real quick, and that’s why we schedule that way,” finished Wolter.
For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.