Interestingly enough, Sunbelt Conference volleyball schedules have
become more competitive in recent years thanks to coaches who've
learned the importance of having their teams travel outside of the
Southern region of the United States.
More Division I teams located in the South are hiring coaches
from the West Coast and from volleyball rich states located in different
regions of the US..
These coaches know the importance of competing against tougher
opponents located in their home states and with the
contacts they have there it's easier for them to participate in West
Coast and Midwest tournaments that test their teams mental and
physical abilities early in the preseason.
By doing this, Sunbelt teams are slowly starting to
gain prominence on the national scene and are growing faster, better
and stronger squads that are regularly showing up in higher positions in
The top eight (8) Sunbelt teams will qualify to play
in the conference championship tournament which this year will be
hosted by the Troy Trojans on November 21 - 23.
The Ragin Cajuns finished 1-3 at the Marriott Houston Westchase
Classic on August 30 - 31 with a season opening victory over UT Pan
American, a loss to Houston Baptist and a three set sweep to Nebraska-
The weekend of September 6 - 7 finds the Ragin Cajuns travelling to
the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Volleyball Classic tournament where they
finished 2-1 with victories over Nicholls State, Alcorn State and a loss
to Houston for the two-day tournament.
A trip to Jackson State on September 10 resulted in a notch in the win
column for the young Cajuns before they travelled to the Benson
Hospitality Group Invitational where they added to more wins and one
loss to their record on September 13 -14.
The Ragin Cajuns will test their 8-3 record at the Ole Miss Rebel Classic
on September 20 - 21 when they face Chattanooga, Southern Miss and
Ole Miss before battling Texas State on September 27 in the first
Sunbelt Conference volleyball game.
It's the first year in the SBC for the Bobcats who migrated from the
Western Athletic Conference where they finished with a 9-9 conference
record 13-14 overall.
Led by senior Preseason All Conference team member Amari Deardorff,
the Bobcats were picked to finish fourth in the SBC coaches preseason
poll tied with Arkansas State.
On August 30-31 the Bobcats emerged undefeated as they won the
tournament title of their own Delta Zeta Texas State Classic by
sweeping three of the four teams Lamar, Quinnipiac and Houston and
pouncing SMU in four sets.
Sam Houston State fell to the Bobcats in a midweek match on
September 3 before Texas State travelled to the North Texas
Invitational where they finished 2-2 losing two to Utah and North Texas
and beating Northwestern State and Prairie A&M.
Texas State beat Baylor in another midweek match on September 10
before travelling to the Golden Hurricane Classic where finished with a
1-2 record with losses to Northern Colorado, Tulsa and a victory over
Texas State plays Texas Tech on September 17 and UTSA on
September 20 before they start their Sunbelt Conference volleyball
schedule against Louisiana Lafayette on September 27.
All hail the Hilltoppers, this year's unanimous choice by all ten of the
SBC coaches to finish first in the Sunbelt Conference regular season
Ready to defend their unblemished 15-0 conference record, Western
Kentucky is clearly on a mission to make it into the top 25 rankings of
college volleyball teams in the country.
Led by SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Edina Begic and the
Preaseason Setter of the Year Melanie Stuttsman, the Hilltoppers have
slowly worked their way upwards into the AVCA top 25 rankings each
week starting with their appearance at the Mortar Board Premier
when they began the season ranked #21 in the AVCA Coaches
At the Premier, Western Kentucky swept Alabama A&M, lost in three to
the #3 ranked USC Trojans and then scored a
major upset victory against Purdue ranked #16 in the country in five
finishing with a 2-1 knockout punch to start the season and opening the
way for them to move up in the AVCA coaches poll.
After beating Belmont on September 3, the Hilltoppers travelled to the
Four Points by Sheraton Seminole Invitational having moved up in the
rankings to #16 in the AVCA poll where they lost to Florida State and
Ohio State but beat Florida A&M.
WKU, now ranked at #21 in the AVCA coaches poll, topped Cincinnati
on September 10 before hosting their own WKU
Invitational, where they beat Virginia, lost to Ohio and swept UNLV on
September 13 - 14.
The Toppers finished the third week of preseason competition with a
7 -5 record and this week were completely knocked out of the AVCA
coaches poll as they prep for the Flyers Classic on September 20 - 21
to face Dayton, Western Michigan and Wright State before they battle
the Troy Trojans on September 27 in their first Sunbelt Conference
The Mavericks were picked by the SBC head coaches to finish sixth in
the preseason poll.
The Mavs have spent a good part of the preseason proving to the head
coaches and anybody who will listen that they deserve more respect
and more consideration.
The Mavericks opened their season on August 30-31 winning their own
UTA Hilton Invitational which took place in the College Park Center.
The Mavericks gained three notches in the win column by trampling
Abilene Christian in five, sweeping Grambling State and finishing off
Louisiana Tech in four sets.
The Mavericks galloped over North Texas where they won in three on
September 3 before heading to the Baylor Classic on September 13 -14
where they lost to Mississippi State and Tulsa but beat Baylor, the host
on their home volleyball court in four.
Finishing again with a 1-2 record at their own Hilton Maverick Classic on
September 13 - 14, UTA lost to UTSA and Texas A&M Corpus Christi
before sweeping Mississippi Valley State.
The last tournament for the Mavericks, the Black and Gold Challenge has
UTA on the court against Denver, Appalachian State and East Carolina
on September 20 - 21 before they open the regular season with their
first Sunbelt Conference volleyball match against Louisiana Monroe on
Holy Cross is the first opponent on Bucknell's Patriot League volleyball
schedule on September 20.
Now this is interesting! In the preseason poll the coaches picked
the UALR Trojans and the Troy Trojans to finish second at the end of
the regular season.
UALR who finished with a 9-5 SBC record last season, travelled to the
Maroon Classic on August 30 - 31 where they marched away with a 1-2
record with opening losses to Southeast Missouri State, and split
matches with Mississippi State losing to them on Friday then beating
them in four on Saturday.
On September 6 - 7, on another road trip to the Rice Invitational I, the
Trojans repeated their 1-2 tournament record with a loss in three to LSU
a five-set victory over the hosts, Rice and a five set loss to Texas A&M
The Trojans started turning things around at the New Mexico
Tournament which they won undefeated against Northern Illinois, New
Mexico State and Southern Utah.
UALR finished the third week of preseason competition with a 4-5
record which they will try and improve upon at the Tiger Invitational
their last tournament before the regular season where they face Austin
Peay, Memphis and La Salle on September 20 - 21.
South Alabama is the first match on the Sunbelt conference volleyball
schedule for the Lady Trojans on Friday, September 27 at home.
Troy who finished last season's Sunbelt Conference with a 9-5 record
13-14 overall were picked by the SBC coaches along with UALR to finish
second in the preseason poll.
On August 30-31, the Trojans lost two to Stephen F Austin and
Southern Miss before winning against Jackson State at the Southern
They stomped on Georgia Southern on September 2 in their first home
volleyball match sweeping them in three sets.
The Active Ankle Challenge was on September 5-6 where the Trojans
stumbled in four against Green bay and Auburn and won in five against
At the Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic on September 13 - 14 the Trojans
lost two against Connecticut and St. Johns and won one against
The Trojans face Alabama State on September 17 before heading to
their last tournament, the Clemson Classic on September 20 - 21 to
face Delaware, Clemson and Alabama.
September 27 marks the first day of Sunbelt Conference volleyball
competition against Western Kentucky.
The Panthers were picked to finish 9th in the SBC preseason coaches
poll and at the Samford Tournament it was evident they were taking a
bit longer than usual to come out of hibernation, finishing with a 1-3
record against Samford, Presbyterian, Mercer and powerhouse
Minnesota on August 30- 31.
On September 6 - 7 the Panthers were the victors at the USC Upstate
Tournament where they beat USC Upstate and Wofford in five and four
sets respectively .
In the GSU Sports Arena, the Panthers home volleyball court, Georgia
State was swept by UAB and then surprised Clemson with a four set
victory on September 12.
Hosting the Georgia State Invitational on September 13 - 14 lost all
three matches to UCF, Davidson and Buffalo.
Entering the fourth week with a 4- 7 record the Panthers head to the
SIU-Edwardsville Tournament on September 20 - 21 to face Arkansas
Pine Bluff, DePaul and SIU-Edwardsville before facing Arkansas State on
September 27 in their first Sunbelt Conference volleyball match.
The SBC coaches picked the Warhawks to finish last in the SBC
In their first road tournament ULM finished 0-3 at the Billiken Invitational
with losses to #10 ranked Nebraska, Saint Louis and Auburn for a
two-day event on August 30 - 31.
On September 2 they were swept by Stephen F. Austin in their first
home match before travelling to the UCA Sugar Bear Invitational on
September 6 - 7 where they finished 1-3 with a victory over UAPB and
losses to Central Arkansas, UTPA and Jackson State.
The McNeese State Tournament was the third event at where they
finished with a 2-2 record beating McNeese and Prairie View A&m then
lost to UTPA and Southern Miss.
A midweek match is scheduled against Grand Canyon on September 19
before the last tournament the ASU Sun Devil Classic where they face
Alabama State Cal Poly and Arizona State
UT Arlington is the first Sunbelt Conference volleyball match for the
Warhawks on September 27.
The Red Wolves were tied with Texas State which was picked to finish
fourth in the preseason poll by SBC coaches.
The Red Wolves started the season 0-4 after travelling to the University
of Missouri Tiger Invitational on august 30 - 31 where they lost to
Pittsburgh, Idaho State, south Dakota State and Missouri.
Digging their way to the winner's column the Red Wolves finished 1-2 at
the Ole Miss Magnolia Invitational where they lost to Georgia Southern
before beating Kennesaw State then losing in four to the host Ole Miss.
Gaining some traction the Wolves finished the Hampton Inn Bama Bash
with a 2-1 record with two tournament opening victories against UT
Martin and the host Alabama before being swept by Nicholls State.
The Wolves enter the fourth week with a 3-7 record which they will test
in their match against Memphis on September 17 before heading to the
Belmont Bruin Classic to face Alabama-Birmingham, Belmont and
Mississippi State on September 20 - 21.
The Convocation Center will be the site of the first Sunbelt
Conference volleyball match for the Wolves against Georgia State on
The Jags opened the season hosting their own Jaguar Invitational on
August 30 -31 and promptly pounced over Tennessee State and
Southern Utah before being caged by Georgia Southern in four sets.
At the Lipscomb Invitational the Jaguars fell prey to all the other teams
as they finished with a 0-3 record losing to Samford, Jacksonville State
and Lipscomb on September 6 -7.
USA crawled out of their cage and pounced on Tennessee Martin and
Nicholls State to gain two victories at the Hampton Inn Bash before
losing to the Tide on September 13 - 14.
After playing Jacksonville State in a midweek match on September17
the Jags will go on the hunt at the Razorback Invitational with
encounters with Saint Louis, Arkansas and Kansas State on September
20 - 21 before their first Sunbelt Conference volleyball match against
UALR on September 27.
Check out more Volleyball Schedules in the pages below: