CLEMSON, S.C. – Hugh Hernesman released the Clemson volleyball team’s 2015 schedule on Wednesday morning. Hernesman, who began his first year at the helm of the program in March, and the Tigers play 32 regular season contests, including 16 matches at home in Jervey Gymnasium and 20 matches against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
“We’re obviously looking forward to the season and I believe we’ll have a challenging schedule,” said Hernesman. “The ACC ranked fifth in the country in terms of average RPI last year and the programs in the conference continue to grow on a national level. To be able to play at an extremely high level night-in-and-night-out is what every competitor – coaches and players – strives for. This is a schedule that will allow us to build along the way while also being able to prepare for the grind that we will face in the ACC. We’ll have a young team, losing five starters, and I truly believe that the best way to learn is to face those challenges head-on, so we’ll be ready and go into this season with true purpose.”
Once again, the Tigers open the season at home with the Big Orange Bash on Aug. 28-29. This year’s tournament, which is the 25th anniversary of the event, features Clemson, Appalachian State, Charleston Southern and UNC Wilmington. On Sept. 11-12, the Tigers host East Tennessee State, Presbyterian College and USC Upstate for the Clemson Classic. The nonconference schedule also features two road tournaments, at Furman on Sept. 4-5 and at SMU on Sept. 18-19. Clemson faces instate rival South Carolina in the opener of the Furman Invite in Greenville, S.C. on Sept. 4. In addition to facing SMU in Dallas, the Tigers also meet TCU and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“The nonconference portion of the schedule will also bring some great challenges. In our two home tournaments, we have some of the strongest mid-major programs in our region. I’ve always been a firm believer that good volleyball knows no “levels” and we are very aware of the challenges that we will face in the Big Orange Bash and the Clemson Classic. On top of that, I’m really excited about the Carolina Challenge with some tremendous in-state competition. Steph and I will get our first taste of the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry, and Furman and Winthrop have shown over the years that they can knock off anyone at any time. The last weekend of nonconference doesn’t get any easier at SMU with TCU and UTSA.”
In ACC play, the Tigers play home-and-home series against six conference foes: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, Notre Dame and Syracuse. The team faces its other eight conference opponents: Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, once in 2015.
Clemson opens conference play at home on Sept. 25 and 27 against Georgia Tech and Syracuse, respectively, and hits the road to face Florida State on Oct. 2 and Miami on Oct. 4. The Tigers play every other weekend at home for the first eight weeks of ACC play, before a four-match road trip begins with a Wednesday, Nov. 11 date at Georgia Tech and ends with a trip to Notre Dame against the Irish on Nov. 21. The regular season concludes with two home matches, versus Miami on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and versus Florida State on Friday, Nov. 27.
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