MAC Volleyball Opens 2000 Season This Weekend

Updated 8/30/2000
The 2000 Mid-American Conference volleyball campaign kicks off this weekend with all 13 schools competing in various tournaments. Preseason MAC West Division favorite Ball State, which returns all six starters and 12 letterwinners, opens the year facing a pair of preseason nationally-ranked opponents (No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 9 Florida) at Florida's Sun Trust Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. The Cardinals, who are led by 1999 MAC Player of the Year Emily Sallee and three other all-MAC returnees, will face Wisconsin Friday at 11 a.m., then host Florida at 6:30 p.m. Ball State finishes the tournament by meeting UNLV Saturday at 12 p.m.

Kent State is the only other league school to battle a ranked opponent in the opening weekend against No. 11 Minnesota at Nevada's tournament in Reno, Nev., in addition to playing the host school and California.

MAC East Division favorite Miami is one of two schools hosting a tournament this weekend, with Buffalo being the other. The RedHawks host TCU in their opening match of the JustBalls.com Classic on Friday at 7 p.m., then meet Denver (10:30 a.m.) and Tennessee (7:30 p.m.) on Saturday. Bucknell, Providence and Canisius will travel to Buffalo to participate in the Buffalo Invitational.

In other MAC season-opening tournaments, Akron travels to Villanova's Wildcat Invitational and will play Rider, American and Villanova. Bowling Green is at the Indiana Invitational and will meet Loyola Chicago, Indiana and Cincinnati, while Central Michigan is at the Patriot Invitational in Fairfax, Va., and will face Fresno State, Siena and Western Carolina. Eastern Michigan, Utah and Massachusetts will join New Hampshire at UNH's tournament, while Marshall will square off at Virginia Techs Hokie Classic with Southwest Texas State, North Carolina State, Appalachian State and Virginia Tech. Northern Illinois will travel to the Marquette Challenge and will meet Eastern Illinois, McNeese State and the host school. Ohio is at the IUPUI Tournament on Saturday and Sunday and will battle Mercer, Western Kentucky and Tennessee State, in addition to IUPUI. Toledo is at the Mark Twain Hotel Invitational in Peoria, Ill., and will face Bradley, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Memphis. Western Michigan ventures to West Lafayette, Ind., to meet Kansas, Purdue and Eastern Kentucky in the Purdue Invitational.