IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas volleyball team announced its 2019 schedule. Head Coach Kelli Trautmann enters her third season at the helm and has worked to build a competitive non-conference schedule that should prepare the Crusaders for an always challenging battle in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) that features two to three top 25 NCAA ranked foes yearly.
Dallas has 35 contests on the docket this fall including 18 against SCAC opponents. The league welcomes newcomers University of St. Thomas (TX) and will have Johnson & Wales University (CO) in its second transitional year to the conference and NCAA Division III. UD will play each conference team twice with some new nuances to the schedule that includes a home-and-home match with nearby rival Austin College during the week.
The Crusaders play nine matches at the Maher Center during the campaign, with six coming over a pair of huge weekends that will involve several neutral matches as well. That first weekend to circle on the calendar will be Friday, September 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, as Dallas hosts several matches in its home-opening weekend. Millsaps College, McMurry University, Alfred University, and fellow SCAC-foe Schreiner University will be attending. The Crusaders will battle the trio of non-league opponents with a prime-time match against the Warhawks on the 13th for the home opener.
The other major weekend to watch several volleyball matches in Irving will be October 18-19 when Dallas hosts a Group A Divisional #2 that will be all conference teams. Southwestern University, Colorado College, Schreiner, and Centenary College will all be present. Dallas will play Schreiner on the 18th and then have its final home tilts with a doubleheader against Colorado College and Centenary the next day. Colorado College and Southwestern will face each other during the weekend in a rematch of last season's SCAC Championship, which the Tigers prevailed and advanced in the second round of its bracket in the NCAA Tournament.
The season gets started on August 30-31 on the west coast at the 2019 Pacific Coast Classic. Pomona-Pitzer College (CA) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College. CMS was ranked first in the NCAA Division III West Region last season and also advanced to the second round of the national tournament. The Crusaders finish the opening weekend swing with Kean University (N.J.) and Occidental College. Both matches will be at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
For the third consecutive season, Dallas heads to Jackson Mississippi for an early season invite. The Crusaders will be at Belhaven University and Millsaps College on Sept. 6 and Sept. 7, respectively, as the two schools from the American Southwest Conference (ASC) and Southern Athletic Association (SAA) partner to host like 2018. The Crusaders will draw East Texas Baptist University at BU before playing the host team on its home court. Dallas will have Huntingdon College and Central Baptist College the next day on the Majors' floor.
Following the busy University of Dallas Invite will be the start of SCAC play with Austin College coming to Irving on Sept. 17. Dallas then will be in Shreveport, Louisiana, to play Colorado, Schreiner, Southwestern, and host Centenary, who the Crusaders edged in five sets when they hosted the 2018 SCAC Tournament.
The month wraps up with a non-conference home game against LeTourneau University on the 24th.
A stretch of eight out of nine games with conference opposition continues at the start of October with the Crusaders playing Johnson & Wales, Texas Lutheran University, Trinity University, and St. Thomas. Trinity is the other team on Dallas' schedule to have reached the NCAA Tournament in 2018. Schreiner will host that Conference Crossover on October 5-6.
The Crusaders take a break the following weekend from league action by heading to the Baden Invitational. Dallas will face Lakeland University, Washington University (MO), Monmouth (Ills.) and University of Wisconsin-Stout Athletics – which will feature Kelli Trautmann and her sister Mandy Trautmann coaching in opposite boxes.
Conference play wraps up for the Crusaders with the next eight in a row before a local non-conference game up the road at Dallas Christian College (Oct. 30). The Crusaders follow their home conference set by going to Sherman, Texas, to play Texas Lutheran, Johnson & Wales, Trinity, and St. Thomas a second time on the slate. After those visits the 26th-27th, the Crusaders return to matchup with Austin on its own floor two days later and then wrap up the season with the DCC Crusaders to make it six matches over a four-day span.
The SCAC Tournament is at Texas Lutheran from November 8-10, as the postseason stretches over three days for the second straight year of going with the new format. Dallas posted a winning record (20-15) in 2018, which was the first time since 2014 (23-13). The Crusaders also claimed the fourth seed and qualified for the tournament after missing in 2017.