WACO – Baylor volleyball head coach Jim Barnes announced the 2013 regular season schedule Thursday, which includes eight NCAA Tournament teams from 2012 and 13 matches against those teams.
"Our very young and talented team will be challenged by this tough schedule," Barnes said. "We begin with a good program at their place and in altitude, but ultimately we want to be tested to prepare for the NCAA Tournament."
The schedule is highlighted by two home tournaments for the first time since 2008.
"We are hosting some great competition at the Ferrell Center," Barnes said. "It will be a great opportunity for our fans to come watch this young team and get excited for the future."
BU will kick off the 2013 season with a three-game road swing to Colorado. The Bears will open at Colorado State on Aug. 30 before traveling to Northern Colorado for matches against the Bears and Cal Poly on Aug. 31.
The Bears will then return home for a midweek match against SMU (Sept. 3) before hosting the Baylor Classic at the Ferrell Center on Sept. 6-7. The round-robin tournament will feature Mississippi State, UT-Arlington and NCAA Tournament qualifier Tulsa. Baylor will travel to San Marcos to face Texas State on Sept. 10 before hosting its second tournament on Sept. 13-14. The Baylor Invitational will welcome Appalachian State and Northwestern along with a third team to be determined.
Next up will be four matches in Houston, beginning at Rice on Sept. 18. The Bears will then play in a round-robin tournament at Houston, featuring the Cougars, LSU and North Texas on Sept. 20-21.
Ending the non-conference portion of its schedule, Baylor will host UTSA on Sept. 24 before beginning Big 12 play.
"The Big 12 will once again be one of the toughest in the nation," Barnes said. "Our team is loaded with talent and will improve over the season. We look forward to the competition and the opportunity to prove ourselves."
The league schedule will feature a home-and-home slate, with each team facing off twice for total 16 matches. Five of the first seven matches will be in Waco, including matchups with NCAA National Champion Texas (Oct. 2), and NCAA Tournament teams, Kansas (Oct. 5), Oklahoma (Oct. 19) and Kansas State (Oct. 23). The Bears will round out Big 12 play with three of their final four matches on the road, finishing at Texas on Nov. 30.
Baylor is coming off its second 20-win season under Barnes and fifth consecutive winning season, setting a new attendance record.
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