By Tommy McGowan, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball schedule has been officially released for the 2019 season. After a historic 2018 season that saw the Blugolds go all the way to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament, there is significant excitement building for the 2019 campaign.
The Blugolds will begin their season on the East Coast, travelling to Virginia to partake in the Christopher Newport Tournament beginning on August 30th. Beginning play out East will pose an interesting challenge, but as Head Coach Kim Wudi puts it, "We feel that travelling out of the Midwest for opening weekend has really set us up for success in the WIAC and has helped position us as a postseason contender." In addition to the annual Sandy Schumacher Memorial Tournament, trips to Augsburg University and Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA) will give the Blugolds plenty of opportunities to prove themselves against some of the best teams in the Midwest throughout the fall.
The Blugolds will open their home action on September 4 against Saint Benedict, the beginning of a difficult slate of September games. "No question about it – our month of September is going to be a gauntlet. We need to have a productive spring season and our student-athletes need to come in ready to go in August" explains Wudi.
Eau Claire was flawless in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play in 2018, going 7-0 en route to a 33-4 overall record. They'll begin WIAC action on the road against UW-Whitewater on September 18th, with their home opener a week later against UW-River Falls on September 25th. Fellow WIAC schools UW-Stout (Oct. 9) and UW-Oshkosh (Nov. 1) will also travel to McPhee Center this fall.
The WIAC Tournament will begin on November 5 and conclude with the semifinals November 7 and the Championship on November 9. Eau Claire is hopeful to return to the NCAA Tournament, which will take place the following two weeks in November.