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DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson women’s volleyball team will host 16 home matches at the Edmunds Center during the 2012 season, the second for head coach Tim Loesch. The Hatters’ home schedule includes four matches during the Stetson Classic. 

That will be one of four tournaments the Hatters will compete in this fall. Loesch believes the tournaments will beneficial to the team. 

“I like the schedule we have for our tournaments; we play a variety of teams,” Loesch said. “I think is going to help us for our conference schedule just by seeing some new teams and teams we have seen in the last couple years that gave us tough matches. They will be very competitive matches.” 

Stetson opens the season by playing in Alabama State's ISTAP Invitational in Montgomery, Ala. The Hatters will face Jacksonville State and South Dakota on August 24 before facing the host Hornets and Tennessee State on August 25.

The Hatters open the home schedule by hosting the Stetson Classic. Over two days there will be 10 games played at the Edmunds Center. The event, which opens on August 31 and concludes on September 1, will feature teams from Central Arkansas, Florida Atlantic, Wofford and Hampton.

Stetson’s other tournaments will be at Norfolk State (Sept. 7-8) and at Charleston Southern (Sept. 14-15). Those trips will be sandwiched between two non-conference home matches against Bethune-Cookman (Sept. 4) and Florida Atlantic (Sept. 11). 

Atlantic Sun Conference play will begin on September 21 when the Hatters travel to take on Mercer, followed by a match at Kennesaw State the next day. The Hatters return home for a trio of league matches, starting with Jacksonville on Sept. 25, USC  Upstate on Sept. 28 and ETSU on Sept 29. 

After traveling to face North Florida on October 2, the Hatters return home for a pair of matches on October 6. Stetson will host league foe FGCU at 1 p.m. and follow up with a non-conference match against Savannah State at 4 p.m.

The Hatters will make their first trip to face league newcomer Northern Kentucky, on October 12 and will follow with a match at three-time defending champion Lipscomb on October 13. Loesch knows that NKU will present them a challenge just like any other conference opponent.

“They are a good team,” Loesch said. “They have a good tradition of winning and competing in Division II. We will not overlook them. We are going to be as well prepared for them as anybody else. It will be fun playing a new team, a different style of play.”

The rest of the home schedule includes matches against Kennesaw State and Mercer on October 19-20, North Florida on October 30, Northern Kentucky on November 9 and Lipscomb on November 10.

The Hatters visit Jacksonville on October 23 and Florida Gulf Coast on October 27. The final road trip of the year includes stops at USC Upstate on Nov. 2 and ETSU on Nov. 3. Overall, Loesch likes the schedule and feels it will give the team a challenge.

“The schedule is more difficult than last year’s schedule,” Loesch said. “We are trying to get revenge on some teams that beat us last year. It’s a step up for our team, and hopefully the girls will step up to the challenge and rise to the occasion and help us continue to build our program. “

The A-Sun Tournament will be held in Nashville, Tennessee from November 15-17 at Lipscomb's Allen Arena.

\FACEBOOK - Stetson Athletics (facebook.com/stetsonhatters); TWITTER - @StetsonSID (twitter.com/stetsonsid) 


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