Related: Full Schedule
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The 2016 Covenant volleyball schedule has been released. The Lady Scots will play 31 regular season contests, 15 inside the USA South and seven at Barnes PE Center.
Fourth-year head coach Joanna Ehman has put together another challenging slate for the defending USA South champion Lady Scots. Covenant will compete in three non-conference invitationals and will face five teams that played in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
The schedule is highlighted with home matches against Division III powers Emory and Hendrix. The Lady Scots will host Emory on Oct. 8, as part of a tri-match, and Hendrix on Oct. 13. Emory has been consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally, while Hendrix was a Final Four participant in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
The season begins on Sept. 2-3 at the Berry Invitational in Rome, Ga., where Covenant finished last season in the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Scots will take on SAA foes Millsaps (Sept. 2) and Berry (Sept. 3) along with ODAC member Washington & Lee (Sept. 3) in the event.
The next two weekends, Covenant will travel to play in the Blues City Invite (Sept. 9-10), hosted by Rhodes, and the Emory Invitational (Sept. 16-17). In those tournaments, Covenant will face the likes of Birmingham Southern (Sept. 10), Rhodes (Sept. 10), Transylvania (Sept. 16), Mary Washington (Sept. 17) and Wellesley (Sept. 17).
The USA South opener is Sept. 23 with a quad-match in Winston-Salem, N.C., against William Peace and Methodist.
The home opener is slated for Oct. 8 with a tri-match that includes matches against USA South newcomer Salem along with non-conference foe Emory. The Lady Scots will also host new conference members Agnes Scott (Oct. 26) and Wesleyan (Oct. 29).
The USA South Tournament is slated for Nov. 1 and 4-5. The conference is split into two, eight-team divisions for volleyball in 2016 with Covenant playing in the South with Maryville, Piedmont, Huntingdon, LaGrange, Agnes Scott, Wesleyan and Salem. The top two teams in each division will host first round and quarterfinal matches on Nov. 1. The tournament semifinal and championship rounds will take place at the highest remaining seed on Nov. 4-5.
- The schedule includes matches against five NCAA Tournament teams from 2015 (Mary Washington, Birmingham Southern, Emory, Hendrix, Berry). Hendrix defeated Covenant in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Final Four.
- The meeting with Mary Washington will be the first all-time between the programs.
- With 16 USA South members, Covenant will only play each conference team one time in regular season play. The Lady Scots will face division rivals Huntingdon, Maryville and Piedmont on the road while hosting LaGrange along with conference newcomers Agnes Scott, Salem and Wesleyan.
- Covenant will face Rhodes twice during the year (Sept. 10 and Oct. 15). The two programs have not met since 1988.
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