July 10, 2012
2012 Volleyball Schedule | Season Ticket Information | Single Game Ticket Information
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss volleyball head coach Abbey Sutherland announced the release the 2012 schedule that will feature four tournaments and a total of 11 home dates for the Golden Eagles and the return of the Conference USA Tournament which was last held in 2009.
"With our early schedule, our focus will be to get our team ready for conference play with our nine freshmen and five sophomores," Sutherland said. "We will face some tough teams, but we expect to come out with a solid record and head into conference play with some confidence. We wanted to play teams that would get us ready for the competitive teams we will face in league play. It is a good balance and I know we are going to go through some challenges, but at the end of the day, I believe we will come out successful."
Southern Miss opens the 2012 campaign by hosting South Alabama, Central Arkansas and Louisiana Tech in the Southern Miss Invitational, Aug. 24-25, before traveling to Lafayette, La., for the Bon Temps Invitational, Aug. 31-Sept. 1, which includes Houston Baptist, Louisiana and McNeese State.
The Golden Eagles also will play in the UT-Arlington Tournament, Sept. 7-8, with teams Northwestern State, Marist College and UTA, then travel to the Stephen F. Austin Tournament, Sept. 14-15, that include teams Robert Morris, Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin.
"I'm excited about the new conference schedule this year," Sutherland said. "I really like that they bought back the conference tournament. We are looking to be successful, but our main goal we have with this young team is to make it to the conference tournament. Only the top eight will get to go. We are going to go with the mindset that we will get better and better as they year progress and be one of those top eight teams."
The league will return to the 16-match format with playing in two divisions, East and West. The East teams consist of Southern Miss, East Carolina, UAB, Memphis, UCF and Marshall, while the West has Tulane, Houston, Rice, Tulsa, UTEP and SMU. The top eight teams will qualify for the C-USA postseason tournament.
Southern Miss opens C-USA play at home against Tulane (Sept. 21) before traveling to UTEP (Sept. 23), East Carolina (Sept. 28) and Marshall (Sept. 30). After playing 12 of 13 matches on the road, the Eagles return home to host C-USA reigning champion and NCAA participant Tulsa (Oct. 5) and SMU (Oct. 7).
From there, Southern Miss travels to UAB (Oct. 12) and Memphis (Oct. 13), then to UCF (Oct. 19) and returns home for the second meeting with UCF (Oct. 21).
The Black and Gold remains at home to host Marshall (Oct. 26) and East Carolina (Oct. 28).
Southern Miss concludes its road schedule at Rice (Nov. 2) and Houston (Nov. 4) before returning home to close out the regular season against Memphis (Nov. 9) and UAB (Nov. 11).
The 2012 Conference USA Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 16-18 at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. The winner of the event receives the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
Southern Miss returns eight letterwinners from last year's team finished with a 17-15 overall record and 11-9 in league play. Sutherland welcomes nine newcomers to this year's squad to go with five sophomores, one junior and two seniors.