June 28, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame volleyball program recently announced the release of its 2012 schedule, featuring matchups against seven teams from last season’s NCAA Championship. The Fighting Irish also play host to a pair of early-season invitationals as part of a 13-match home slate.
Notre Dame gets out of the gate with a matchup against defending national champion UCLA (Aug. 24) in Lincoln, Neb. One day later, Notre Dame faces St. Louis (Aug. 25) in Lincoln before heading to Omaha to challenge Nebraska (Aug. 26).
Returning to Purcell Pavilion to open the home portion of the schedule, the Irish will welcome UAB (Aug. 31), Buffalo (Sept. 1) and Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 2) to the Shamrock Invitational.
Notre Dame travels west for the USC Tournament (Sept. 7-8) with bouts against Cal Poly, San Diego and the host Trojans in Los Angeles, Calif. The event will be a homecoming of sorts for several California natives on the Irish roster along with head coach Debbie Brown, who captained USC to a 72-1 two-year record and national titles in both 1976 and 1977, including a 38-0 run in 1977. Brown’s 1977 squad is still considered one of the all-time greatest at any level of volleyball.
USC paid tribute to Brown during the 2008 season by naming her a program “All-Time Great”, an honor shared with Trojan teammate Sue Woodstra. A permanent banner with Brown’s name and jersey number now hangs from the rafters of USC’s Galen Center.
The Golden Dome Invitational will feature games against Xavier (Sept. 14), Loyola Marymount (Sept. 15), and Kansas (Sept. 16).
League play begins with trips to Cincinnati (Sept. 22) and Louisville (Sept. 23). Notre Dame fell to both the Bearcats and Cardinals during the 2011 regular season, but avenged its loss to Louisville in the second round of the BIG EAST Conference Championship before putting up a valiant fight to Cincinnati in the league’s title match.
Four straight home matches over the following two weeks include meetings with Marquette (Sept. 29), Syracuse (Sept. 30), Connecticut (Oct. 6) and St. John’s (Oct. 7).
A three-game roadswing to DePaul (Oct. 12), Georgetown (Oct. 19) and Villanova (Oct. 21) will be followed by a home twinbill with Pittsburgh (Oct. 26) and USF (Oct. 28). The matchup with Pittsburgh will be played at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Notre Dame travels to Seton Hall (Nov. 3) and Rutgers (Nov. 4) before playing host to Cincinnati on Nov. 9 to close the home schedule.
The regular season comes to an end at Marquette (Nov. 11) while the BIG EAST Championship will be played Nov. 16-18 at an undetermined site.
The Irish will tuneup for the NCAA Championship at Ohio (Nov. 23).
The first three rounds of the NCAA Championship will be held at campus sites with the semifinals and championship match set to be played Dec. 13-15 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
UCLA, USC, Nebraska, San Diego, Louisville, Cincinnati and Marquette each appeared in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame posted its 21st consecutive winning season after finishing the 2011 season with a 17-13 overall record (8-4 BIG EAST). Notre Dame advanced to the final match of the BIG EAST Championship and claimed the team title at both the Shamrock Invitational and Wisconsin’s InnTowner Invitational.
The Irish graduated two seniors but return 12 Monogram winners while welcoming four newcomers to the 2012 roster.
Live media coverage for each home match will be available at UND.com. Fans are encouraged to follow the Irish throughout the season on Twitter (@NDvolleyball, @NDcoachBrown, @NDsidJorge) and can sign up for Irish Alert text message updates at UND.com.
Ticket information will be available at UND.com/tickets.