PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College volleyball team's 2010 schedule features matches against nine NCAA Division II Tournament participants from a year ago, including six road games against postseason qualifiers from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The 2010 season marks the first for the Storm in the GLIAC.
"This is definitely the strongest schedule we have ever had," said head coach Gary VanCauwenberge. "Even though we have fewer matches than last year's schedule, we will face a stern challenge going into the GLIAC."
Lake Erie returns 15 players, including five starters, from last year's squad that finished with a 10-27 record in its second season in Division II. The win total marked a six-game improvement from the previous season.
"We've been a very young team the past two seasons, but our current players have gotten a lot of experience during that time," VanCauwenberge, who is entering his ninth season, said. "I think that with the experience of our returners plus a strong freshman class, we should be very competitive."
But before playing any matches at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center, the Storm opens the season by playing its first 10 contests on the road. Lake Erie will open at the Davis & Elkins Senator Spikefest for the second straight year Sept. 3-4 and will play West Virginia Tech, Indiana (Pa.), Ohio Valley and host Davis & Elkins.
After a nonconference match with traditional foe Notre Dame (Ohio), the Storm opens conference play Sept. 10 at Wayne State University. That match opens a stretch of five straight road games to begin conference play, including matches with playoff teams Hillsdale, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech.
The home and South Division opener will be Sept. 24 against league foe Tiffin, followed by a tri-match the following day against fellow GLIAC newcomer Ohio Dominican and another NCAA Tournament team, nonconference foe Wheeling Jesuit.
After hosting Mercyhurst and Ashland, the Storm opens a three-game road trip against Grand Valley State, Ferris State and Saginaw Valley State – all tournament teams from 2009. On Oct. 15-16, Lake Erie will participate in the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament in Aurora, Ill.
Making up for the lack of home games to open the season, the Storm will play six of seven contests at home between Oct. 20 and 31. They'll open that stretch with Edinboro, the ninth team on the slate to reach the postseason last year. Findlay will be the opponent for the home finale on Halloween.
Lake Erie closes the regular season with road games at Tiffin and Ohio Dominican. The league's top eight teams advance to the GLIAC Tournament Nov. 11-12.