Coming off a 4-26 season where it had the fewest overall wins in the Big West Conference and finished ninth in the 10-team conference, the Cal Poly volleyball team announced a daunting 2013 schedule Wednesday.
The Mustangs will face eight teams that qualified for last season’s NCAA Tournament, including Pac-12 heavy-hitters Cal and Stanford.
Prior to a conference schedule that includes home-and-away matches against defending champion Hawaii, which has yet to lose a Big West match after joining the conference last season, Cal Poly will play in four nonconference tournaments.
At the Cal Invitational from Sept. 12-14, the Mustangs will play the Golden Bears, Kansas State and Santa Clara, all of which were NCAA Tournament qualifiers last season.
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Cal Poly opens the season Aug. 30 at the Colorado State/Northern Colorado Tournament, playing each of the joint hosts in the three-day event. Both Colorado schools were 2012 NCAA Tournament participants.
The Mustangs will play a single road match at Stanford on Sept. 18 and round out the nonconference schedule with tournaments at Arizona State and Sacramento State.
Also in July, Cal Poly announced the addition of sand competitions to the schedule for next spring.
Known commonly as beach volleyball, the sport has been added to the NCAA’s list of emerging sports and could gain championship status once enough teams field programs.
For now, what will be a club program at Cal Poly will be coached by indoor second-year coach Sam Crosson with players culled from the indoor varsity team.