The 2006 Utah volleyball team will have 12 home dates this year.
June 5, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah volleyball team launches the 2006 season on the last weekend in August and will have 12 home matches as it eyes defense of its 2005 Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship.
The 2006 season will begin with a pair of tournaments on the road. Utah will play at Florida's Aquafina Invitational on Aug. 25-26 and at USC's Tournament on Sept. 1-3.
The first home date for Utah will be the Utah Classic on Sept. 8-9. The four-team, round-robin tournament also features Missouri State, Temple and Utah State.
Utah will also host UVSC (Oct. 10) to round out its non-conference schedule. The Mountain West Conference schedule kicks in on Friday, Sept. 15, when the Utes host perennial power Colorado State.
The schedule features eight teams that made the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and a pair of teams that finished the 2005 season ranked in the top 25. One of the biggest opponents will be Florida in Gainsville, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 26. The Gators finished last year ranked No. 3 in the nation and made it to the Elite Eight of the national tournament.
The Utes also have the heady task of playing USC in Los Angeles on Saturday, Sept. 2. Utah takes on a Trojan team that was ranked No. 19 in the final poll, making it to the second round of the NCAA postseason.
Brigham Young (Oct. 27), Missouri State (Sept. 9), Colorado State (Sept. 15) and Utah State (Sept. 8) all were NCAA Tournament participants in addition to Florida and USC.
The Mountain West Conference Tournament returns to Las Vegas for its second straight year. It will be hosted by UNLV, in Cox Pavilion, from Nov. 23-25. The winner of the tournament receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Utah returns eight letterwinners and five starters from last season. The Utes finished the 2005 season with a 23-9 overall mark and were ranked No. 25 in the final coaches poll. They won the conference tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.