CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University athletics department has finalized the 2017 competition schedule for the Spartan volleyball team, featuring six home matches at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
Castleton opens the season in Chicopee, Mass., for the Blazer Invitational at Elms College, first facing Albertus Magnus and SUNY Cobleskill Friday, Sept. 1, before taking on the host Blazers Saturday, Sept. 2. The Spartans make their annual trip to SUNY Cobleskill Wednesday, Sept. 6, and then head to East Longmeadow, Mass., Saturday, Sept. 9, for contests against MCLA and Bay Path.
The Spartans celebrate Homecoming Weekend Sunday, Sept. 17, with home contests against Old Westbury and Paul Smith's College, followed by a quick road trip to Southern Vermont College Wednesday, Sept. 20. Castleton will host a tri-match Saturday, Sept. 23, taking on Green Mountain in a non-conference contest as well as Becker College.
Castleton opens the North Atlantic Conference schedule at New England College Saturday, Sept. 30, taking on Colby-Sawyer and the host Pilgrims, playing their inaugural season of NCAA volleyball. The Spartans host Lyndon State in a non-conference match Friday, Oct. 6, before heading to Poultney to take on Green Mountain Tuesday, Oct. 10.
After a non-conference match at MCLA Thursday, Oct. 12, Castleton returns to NAC play in Maine Saturday, Oct. 14, with contests against Husson and defending conference champion Maine Maritime. The Spartans' final home match of the regular season takes place Tuesday, Oct. 17, against SUNY Cobleskill.
Castleton concludes the regular season with two trips within Vermont, first heading to Lyndon State Saturday, Oct. 21, to wrap up the conference slate against the Hornets and Johnson State. The Spartans finish the 2017 regular season Wednesday, Oct. 25, at in-state foe Norwich.
The top six teams in the final NAC regular season standings qualify for the conference tournament, with the quarterfinals set for Saturday, Oct. 28. The top two seeds receive byes into the semifinals, with the top seed hosting the semifinals and finals Nov. 3-4. Castleton has appeared in eight NAC Tournaments over the past 10 seasons, advancing to the semifinals five times, most recently in 2015.
Nicole Kondziela begins her fourth season as head coach of the Castleton volleyball team, leading the team to a 13-10 record in 2015 before winning nine matches and qualifying for the NAC Tournament last year.