Colorado head volleyball coach Jesse Mahoney has announced the 2016 non-conference schedule, which features four 2015 NCAA Tournament teams and two exciting home tournaments.
The Buffs start the season at the Portland State Tournament where they will open the campaign against former Big 12 rival Texas Tech on Aug. 26. The following day, the Buffs will take on host Portland State and Long Beach State, which received votes in the final poll of 2015.
The second weekend of the season is sure to be a thrilling one as Colorado will host the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, one of the most prestigious non-conference tournaments of the season, at the Coors Events Center. The tournament will be Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sunday, Sept. 4 since the CU football game against Colorado State is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. in Denver.
The Buffs will host Penn State, which was ranked ninth in the final 2015 a poll with a 28-6 overall record, and Illinois, which was 21st overall after finishing the season 21-13; both teams reached the NCAA region semifinals. CU will face PSU on Sept. 3, while the match against Illinois will be on Sept. 4. Pac-12 foe Stanford will be in town for the challenge to face the Nittany Lions and the Fighting Illini. The Cardinal was 14th in the final poll (23-7) after falling in the first round of NCAAs. Colorado will face Stanford twice during the Pac-12 slate, once at home and once on the road.
The last tournament before the conference slate starts is the Omni Hotels Invitational, CU's second home tournament, Sept. 16-17. The Buffs will start action on Sept 16 against New Orleans and on Sept. 17, they will face Chicago State.
The final contest of the Omni Invitational will bring in-state rival Colorado State back to the CEC for the first time since 2008.
Season tickets are on sale and start at $25 for general admission with options to upgrade to reserved ($40) or floor seating ($50). Kids 12 & under are free to every home match. Call 303-492-8337 or purchase them online at CUBuffs.com.
2016 non-conference schedule
HOME GAMES ALL CAPS
Portland State Tournament
Aug. 26, vs. Texas Tech
Aug. 27, at Portland State
Aug. 27, vs. Long Beach State
Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge
Sept. 3, PENN STATE
Sept. 4, ILLINOIS
San Diego Invitational
Sept. 9, at San Diego
Sept. 10, vs. UC Irvine
Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic
Sept. 16, NEW ORLEANS
Sept. 17, CHICAGO STATE
Septt. 17, COLORADO STATE