WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - University of Saint Joseph (USJ) volleyball head coach Dejshona George has announced the schedule for the 2019 season. Highlighting the 26-game regular-season slate are 10 home matches inside the O'Connell Center.
The Blue Jays open the 2019 campaign with back-to-back Saturday road tri-matches, playing four teams from four different conferences to kickoff the season. USJ's opening tri-match is Saturday, August 31 at Massachussetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference's (MASCAC) Fitchburg State with New England Collegiate Conference's (NECC) Bay Path. USJ is set to open with the Wildcats at 12:00 p.m. before taking on the host Falcons at 2:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph then travels to New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference's (NEWMAC) Mount Holyoke for a tri-match with the Lyons and North Eastern Athletic Conference's (NEAC) SUNY Cobleskill. The Blue Jays get the Lyons in the opener before serving against the Fighting Tigers in the second match.
USJ makes its 2019 debut inside the O'Connell Center on Thursday, September 12 in a non-conference match with Elms College. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. between the Blue Jays and Blazers.
The Blue Jays return to the road that weekend for another tri-match and also their Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener. The first GNAC game will be against Colby-Sawyer on Saturday, September 14 at 12:00 p.m. before they play a non-conference match against Maine-Presque Isle to conclude the tri-match at 2:00 p.m.
Continuing with non-conference play, USJ returns home for a brief date with Commonwealth Coast Conference opponent Nichols College (Sept. 18). The Blue Jays will then bounce back and forth between GNAC and non-conference action for the next four matches. They head to Norwich (Sept. 21) before hosting NECC's Dean (Sept. 24) and then travel to Regis (Sept. 28) before hosting NECC's Mitchell (Oct. 2).
Next comes a string of six straight conference games. On Saturday, October 5, the Blue Jays play host to Johnson & Wales and Simmons in what should be an exciting day at USJ where five of the six fall programs are all at home. They then hit the road for matches at Anna Maria (Oct. 9), a tri-match at Emmanuel with Saint Joseph's (Me.) (Oct. 12), and at Lasell (Oct. 16).
The Blue Jays stay on the road and complete a six-game road swing Saturday, October 19 with a non-conference MASCAC tri-match at MCLA with Salem State. USJ plays Salem State in the opener before facing off with the host Trailblazers in the night cap.
That ignites a four-game homestand for the Blue Jays, their longest of the season, over the next week and a half. They host GNAC and intrastate rival Albertus Magnus (Oct. 23) inside the OC for the first time since 2014 before hosting Suffolk and Rivier (Oct. 26) in a GNAC tri-match to conclude their conference slate. USJ wraps up its home dates Wednesday, October 30 versus NECC's New England College in a non-conference match which will also serve as Senior Night.
Rounding out the 2019 docket is a non-conference tri-match at Liberty League's Bard College with Skyline Conference's College of Mount Saint Vincent. The Blue Jays play the host Raptors first before concluding the regular-season against the Dolphins.
The top-eight teams in the league standings will advance to the 2019 GNAC Tournament, which is set to begin with the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, November 5, with the top-four seeds serving as hosts. The semifinals will be held on Thursday, November 7 by the remaining two highest seeds, followed by the championship match on Saturday, November 9 by the highest remaining seed.
The Blue Jays finished 12th in the regular-season standings at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign, just three GNAC wins shy of making the playoffs.
Admission to all USJ regular-season volleyball games in 2019 are free of charge.