BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball program revealed its 2013 schedule Wednesday highlighted by 11 matches versus 2012 NCAA Tournament opponents which includes a home meeting with Texas, the defending national champions, on Oct. 5 at the Maravich Center.
In total, LSU is scheduled to play 13 matches inside the Maravich Center where the Tigers have garnered an impressive 76-20 record since the 2005 season. For the third consecutive season, fans will have the opportunity to “Geaux Free” to all 2013 home matches.
The Tigers will participate in three non-conference tournaments before entering its 18-match SEC schedule. LSU plays host to the Tiger Classic on Aug. 30-31. The opening weekend slate features tilts versus Texas-San Antonio (Aug. 30), UC Davis (Aug. 31) and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant San Diego State (Aug. 31).
LSU will spend two weekends of its eight-match road swing in the Lone Star State at tournaments hosted by Rice and Houston. The Tigers meet Arkansas-Little Rock (Sept. 6), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Sept. 7) and Rice (Sept. 7) followed by tilts with North Texas (Sept. 20), Baylor (Sept. 20) and Houston (Sept. 21). Sandwiched between the Houston tournaments are a pair of road matches versus 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier Miami (Sept. 13 & 14).
New for the 2013 season, LSU will play 18 conference matches. The SEC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will still be awarded to the league’s regular season champion. During SEC action, LSU will play its home matches on Friday’s at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s at 1 p.m.
“Our 2013 schedule has a wonderful mix of challenges and quality matches to enable our program to return to the NCAA Tournament,” head coach Fran Flory said. “Being able to host Texas, the defending national champions on our home court, will provide a great opportunity for our fans and our players. I feel our non-conference schedule will prepare us and provide us outstanding balance against the variety of styles of play we will see in order to be successful against an always-tough SEC.”
LSU will play a home-and-home series with six teams which include Alabama (Nov. 30 – Home; Oct. 20 – Away), Auburn (Nov. 15 – Home; Oct. 18 – Away), Florida (Nov. 1 – Home; Nov. 22 – Away), Georgia (Sept. 27 – Home; Nov. 8 – Away), Ole Miss (Oct. 11 – Home; Nov. 27 – Away) and Texas A&M (Nov. 13 – Home; Oct. 9 – Away).
With the remaining six teams, the Tigers have single home matches versus Mississippi State (Oct. 13), Missouri (Oct. 25) and Arkansas (Oct. 27) in addition to single road matches against Kentucky (Nov. 10), Tennessee (Nov. 17) and South Carolina (Nov. 24).
The Tigers will bring back eight letterwinners in 2013 highlighted by Desiree Elliott, a two-time All-SEC selection. LSU's seven-year run atop the SEC Western Division came to a close in 2012. The streak was the second-longest in SEC history only behind Florida's 14-year atop the SEC Eastern Division from 1995-2008.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter.