RALEIGH, N.C. – Shaw University volleyball has unveiled its 28-match schedule for 2018, which includes 10 games against non-conference opponents and two qualifiers of the 2017 NCAA Regional Tournament. For the first time in program history, the Lady Bears will face four new opponents that features one member of the Gulf South Conference (GSF), two of the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) and one of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
The Lady Bears captivated its 2017 season with a 27-5 overall record, finishing as runner-up champions in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Conference Championship last fall. Shaw went 15-1 against CIAA opponents and claimed the Southern Division title for the second-consecutive year under the leadership of 3x CIAA Volleyball Coach of the Year in head coach DiShondra Goree who will begin her fifth season at the helm of the program.
"I am very excited about the upcoming 2018 season, this will be the first time that my volleyball program will travel to Florida," said Goree. "We will compete against strong competition down there from several strong regions for our first tournament of the season. This season's schedule is comprised of tough competition and five new opponents that will prepare my team for the CIAA Post season tourney. We look forward to a productive 2018 season."
Shaw will compete in three exhibitions beginning on Aug. 11 versus Macomb Community College in the historic C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium before traveling to Wake Tech (Aug. 15) and North Carolina Central (Aug. 24).
The Lady Bears open the season with its first trip to Florida – first time in program history, where they will enter the Embry-Riddle University Tournament on Aug. 24-25. SU's 2018 season opener is set for Aug. 24 against Valdosta State, followed by contests against Embry-Riddle (Aug. 24), Lynn (Aug. 25) and Wayne State (Aug. 25).
SU will spend Labor Day in Pembroke, N.C. as the Lady Bears will participate in the UNC-Pembroke Tournament. Shaw will take on UNC Pembroke and Coker on Aug. 31, following tilts against Lees McRae and Lenoir Rhyne (Sept. 1).
CIAA play will begin on Sept. 8 for the Lady Bears when they travel to Petersburg, Va., for the CIAA Round-Up. SU will meet Elizabeth City State during the opening day (Sept. 8) and then face Chowan and Virginia State on Sept. 9.
Shaw's home opener is on tap for Sept. 13 against Livingstone, which also marks its Southern Division opener and Fan Night. The Lady Bears will have road matches at Barton (Sept. 14) and Johnson C. Smith (Sept. 17) before returning home to tangle with newly CIAA member Claflin on Sept. 19 for Faculty Staff & Appreciation.
The CIAA's second volleyball round-up will be held in Fayetteville, N.C., as the Lady Bears will meet Lincoln (Pa.) and Virginia Union on Sept. 22, followed by a contest against Bowie State (Sept. 23).
The Lady Bears will meet Lees McRae for the second time during the season on Sept. 25 in Banner Elk, N.C. and then will return home to host Winston-Salem State (Sept. 27) for Blackout Night, Fayetteville State (Oct. 1) on Greek Night and Saint Augustine's (Oc.t 4) for its annual Dig Pink affair.
On Oct. 5, SU will head to Claflin and Livingstone (Oct. 8), followed by its home finale and Senior Day against Johnson C. Smith (Oct. 15). The final three matches of the regular season will be on the road. Shaw will travel to Winston-Salem State (Oct. 21), Fayetteville State (Oct. 29) and Saint Augustine's Nov. 2.
For the 2018 CIAA Volleyball Championships, the first round will be played on Nov. 6 with a location to be announced at a later time while the semifinals and championship match will be played on Nov. 9-10 in Salem, Va.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's volleyball and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.