CASTLETON, Vt. – The 2018 competition schedule for the Castleton University volleyball team has been finalized with 22 matches on the docket, including nine contests in Glenbrook Gym, the most home matches for the Spartans in five years.
Castleton opens the season with a tri-match Saturday, Sept. 1, against Anna Maria and Becker in Leicester, Mass. The Spartans start their nine-match home slate against SUNY Cobleskill Tuesday, Sept. 4, the first of four straight home games for Castleton.
Both Glenbrook Gym and SHAPE Gym will be in use Saturday, Sept. 8, as Castleton hosts a quad match. The Spartans will play in Glenbrook Gym against MCLA and Bay Path, while Northern Vermont-Lyndon will be the fourth team playing in SHAPE Gym against Bay Path and MCLA.
The volleyball team earns the honor of playing Castleton's first home Little East contest, but the Spartans will face an immediate challenge in defending Little East champion UMass Boston Friday night, Sept. 14. Castleton then hits the road for a match against former conference foe Northern Vermont-Johnson Tuesday, Sept. 18.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, the Spartans play their first road conference match at Southern Maine, followed by a neutral-site contest against Maine-Presque Isle the same day. Castleton sees another past NAC rival on Wednesday, Sept. 26, when Green Mountain College makes the short trip north to face the Spartans.
Castleton travels to Lyndonville, Vt., on Sunday, Sept. 30 for a tri-match against Northern Vermont-Johnson and Northern Vermont-Lyndon. The Spartans return to Glenbrook Gym Tuesday, Oct. 2, against Little East foe Keene State, which tied for first in the LEC standings last year and posted a 24-6 overall record.
The Spartans head south on back-to-back Saturdays, first heading to Eastern Connecticut State Oct. 6 to face the Warriors and Connecticut College. One week later on Oct. 13, Castleton travels to UMass Dartmouth for a conference match against the Corsairs and a non-conference contest against Emerson.
After a road match at SUNY Cobleskill Wednesday, Oct. 17, Castleton returns to conference play with a Homecoming match against Rhode Island College Saturday, Oct. 20. The Spartans' final regular season road contest takes them to Plymouth, N.H., to face the Plymouth State Panthers Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Castleton closes the regular season at Glenbrook Gym with the traditional in-state rivalry match against Norwich Thursday, Oct. 25, and the finale against Western Connecticut State Sunday, Oct. 28.
The top six teams in the final regular season standings will qualify for the LEC Tournament, with seeds three through six competing in the quarterfinals Tuesday, Oct. 30. The top two seeds receive a bye into the semifinals, with the top seed hosting the semifinals Friday, Nov. 2, and the championship match Saturday, Nov. 3. The winner of the league tournament will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Dale Solotruck enters his first season as head coach of the Castleton volleyball team. The Spartans posted a 7-16 overall record in 2017, but did qualify for the North Atlantic Conference Tournament for the third straight season.