KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 2018) – On Thursday, USMMA third-year head coach Tim Gaiser announced the full slate of games for the upcoming 2018 women's volleyball season. The Mariners are looking to defend the Skyline Conference Championship and return to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.
The full slate features a total of 23 matches, including 10 Skyline Conference contests. Merchant Marine will host nine matches at the Liebertz Gymnasium and will travel away from Kings Point for the other 14.
Action begins later this month on Friday, Aug. 31, with a home match against Rutgers-Newark. It will be the Mariners' first match on the newly-renovated Liebertz Gym floor, which opened back in early January of this year.
USMMA hits the road for a mid-week match at Pratt on Tuesday, Sept. 4, before a home match that Saturday, Sept. 8, against Montclair State. The next eight matches are away from the friendly confines of the Liebertz Gym, beginning with a non-conference tilt against Hunter on Tuesday, Sept. 11, followed by a showdown with arch-rival Coast Guard on Thursday, Sept. 13, up in New London, Conn. with a point towards the 2018-19 Superintendents' Trophy race on the line.
After a free weekend, the Mariners travel to Hoboken, N.J., on Wednesday, Sept. 19, to meet the last team they faced in the 2017 season, Stevens Institute, who defeated Merchant Marine in straight sets in the opening round of the NCAA Championships last November.
The 2018 Maritime Classic hosted by nearby SUNY Maritime is up next. USMMA will square off against the host Privateers on Friday night, Sept. 21, before taking on both Massachusetts Maritime and two-time defending tournament champions Maine Maritime on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Skyline Conference action begins with two matches over the span of three days, both on the road at St. Joseph's-Long Island (Tuesday, Sept. 25) and at 2017 Skyline Runner-Up Mount St. Vincent (Thursday, Sept. 27).
The Mariners will then play their next seven matches at home beginning with a non-conference tri-match where they will welcome in Brooklyn College and Bard College on Saturday, Sept. 29. That is followed by back-to-back nights of matches against Skyline opponent Mount St. Mary on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and the CUNYAC Conference's Medgar Evers on Thursday, Oct. 4. The final non-conference contest of the season is also against a CUNYAC foe, Lehman College, on Thursday, Oct. 11.
A Skyline tri-match will close out the home regular season schedule on Sunday, Oct. 14, when Merchant Marine will play host to St. Joseph's-Brooklyn and Sarah Lawrence.
The regular season concludes with five-straight matches away from Kings Point, beginning with a Thursday night showdown on the road against Yeshiva University on Oct. 18. That is followed by back-to-back weekends of Skyline tri-matches at SUNY Maritime and vs. Farmingdale State on Sunday, Oct. 21, and then at Purchase where the Mariners will face Old Westbury and the host Panthers on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The top six conference teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the Skyline Championships, with the first two seeds earning a bye into the semifinals. The first round matches of #3 hosting #6 and #4 hosting #5 will take place on, Tuesday, Oct. 30. The winners will move on to face the top two seeds in the semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 1. The Skyline Championship match is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3, at the highest remaining seed.
The 2018 NCAA Division III National Championships will be held from Nov. 8 through Nov. 17, 2018, with the first three rounds at regional sites Nov. 8-10 and the quarterfinals, semifinals and national championship final being played Nov. 15-17 at the A.J. Palumbo Center on the campus of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa.
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