NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Belmont Volleyball head coach Katelyn Harrison released the 2022 season schedule on Friday morning, providing the first look at the Bruins' opening foray into Missouri Valley Conference action.
The 31-match schedule features four weekend tournaments in the non-conference portion of the campaign, with trips to Atlanta, Ga., and Pullman, Wash., alongside local affairs hosted by Middle Tennessee and Tennessee State.
"I'm extremely excited about our 2022 schedule," Harrison said. "With our move to the Missouri Valley Conference, we wanted to have a good balance in our schedule of opponents from various conferences and playing styles."
The full schedule can be viewed here.
Belmont starts the season in the Peach State, in Atlanta, Ga., with a tournament hosted by Georgia State from Aug. 26-27.
The Bruins kick off the 2022 campaign in style when they rematch with a 2021 opponent, SEC foe Auburn, on Aug. 26, before taking on both Marist and the hosting Panthers to close out the tournament.
Following the weekend visit to Atlanta, the Bruins will return home to open up the Curb Event Center with a date against crosstown rival Lipscomb in a Battle of the Boulevard clash on Aug. 30. The matchup will be the 46th edition in a rivalry that Belmont currently leads, 26-19.
Belmont will make their first plane trip since 2019 when they travel to Pac-12 country for a tournament hosted by Washington State in Pullman, Wash., on Sep. 2-3. The Bruins will take on the hosting Cougars before bouts with Cal Baptist and CSU Bakersfield.
Washington State is coming off a second round appearance in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, after sweeping Northern Colorado before falling to Baylor in straight sets.
"I like that we are doing the tournaments at both Georgia State and Washington State to replicate a MVC weekend—our travel is now much more intensive, and these two trips will help us get ready for the conference schedule," Harrison said.
The following weekend, the Bruins will make the short drive to Murfreesboro for the MTSU Tournament on Sep. 9-10, where they will take on former conference rival UT Martin in addition to Middle Tennessee and Grambling State.
Belmont will then wrap up the non-conference section of the schedule by competing in a tournament hosted by another former conference rival, Tennessee State, on Sep. 15-16.
In addition to the hosting Tigers, the Bruins will also match up against Bethune-Cookman and 2021 opponent Alcorn State, who they swept in the home opener a year ago.
Belmont opens up their inaugural season in the Missouri Valley Conference with a home match against Missouri State on Sep. 23, and will finish out their opening home conference weekend with a match against SIU-Carbondale on Sep. 24.
Other MVC opponents at the Curb in 2022 include Evansville, Indiana State, Bradley, Valparaiso, UIC, Murray State and defending conference champion Illinois State.
The Bruins close out the regular season with a pivotal home match at the Curb Event Center against Murray State on Nov. 16. Last season, Belmont took down the Racers in four sets in a thrilling second meeting at the Curb—the first Bruin win over Murray State since their 2015 OVC Championship title bout.
Road conference opponents for the Bruins include former OVC opponent Murray State, UIC, Valparaiso, SIU-Carbondale, Missouri State, Drake, Northern Iowa, Indiana State, and Evansville.
Belmont's final conference road trip of the season will take them to the Hoosier State, for matches against Indiana State and Evansville on consecutive days on Nov. 11-12.
The top-8 teams in the league standings will qualify for the MVC Tournament, which will be played Nov. 20-23 at a venue to be determined.
The 2022 Bruins will feature seven newcomers to the squad, including six freshmen and a sophomore transfer. Returning stars that will help anchor a young rotation include outside hitters Laura Shoopman and Lauren Walsh, middle blockers Kristen Clemons and Sydney Willis, and libero Rachel McBride.
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