GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – The program’s first-ever trip outside the contiguous United States, as well as 13 home matches, help comprise the 2019 East Carolina volleyball schedule as announced by head coach Julie Torbett Wednesday.
"We are excited about the 2019 season,” Torbett said. “Opening up in Puerto Rico will be a great trip for the team to bond together and play some great competition. Our conference is very tough, so I try to balance the non-conference schedule with matches that build up to that portion of the season."
The Pirates kick off the campaign Aug. 30-31 by traveling to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Clásico where they will face off against Providence, George Mason and Evansville. The following weekend, ECU heads to the University of North Florida for the UNF Invitational to take on a field that includes Wake Forest, Mercer and the host Ospreys.
East Carolina opens its home slate Sept. 13-14 with the Pirate Invitational, welcoming George Washington, Norfolk State and USC Upstate to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. After a non-conference home contest versus N.C. Central Sept. 17, ECU heads to Boiling Springs for the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldog Invitational. The Pirates will battle Gardner-Webb Sept. 20 and Alabama A&M the following day. Non-conference play continues Sept. 25 when Campbell visits Greenville and will close out Oct. 29 with a return trip to N.C. Central.
A road swing at Cincinnati (Sept. 27) and Tulsa (Sept. 29) marks the beginning of East Carolina’s American Athletic Conference schedule. In a new divisional format, the Pirates will play Cincinnati, UCF, USF, Connecticut and Temple twice while meeting Wichita State, Tulsa, SMU, Houston, Memphis and Tulane once. ECU is slated to host Wichita State, SMU and Memphis and will hit the road for matches against Tulsa, Tulane and Houston.
For the first time, the AAC will sponsor a conference tournament. As the defending regular season champion, UCF has earned the right to host the event Nov. 22-24. The top two teams in each division, as well as the two teams with the next best league records regardless of division, will battle it out for the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Volleyball Championship.