Scott Slarks, Director of Media Relations
TULSA – Featuring 11 home matches and four opponents that reached the NCAA Championship a year ago, the Oral Roberts volleyball team has announced its schedule for the 2017 season beginning August 25, highlighted by trips to West Lafayette, Indiana, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Tampa, Florida.
“We are excited about the upcoming season, but know that this will be a tough schedule where we go up against some really good teams,” Head Coach Sheera Sirola said, entering her 15th year leading the Golden Eagles. “We need to get our players and program some national exposure, while getting prepared for another difficult stretch in The Summit League. Then you get a chance to host a tournament here in Tulsa playing in front of a home crowd and that is something we are looking forward to.”
After reaching The Summit League Championship Semifinals a season ago, the Golden Eagles get back to work trying to reach the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2006 and will be tested immediately by playing their first 10 matches away from home. ORU opens the campaign at Purdue, a 2016 national tournament participant from the Big 10, Aug. 25 with matchups against another tournament team, Cleveland State and Alabama Aug. 26 to close the Purdue Mortar Board.
A swing through perennial power Nebraska follows for the Golden Eagles Sept. 1-2 at the Ameritas Players Challenge to face Saint Mary’s and UMBC. In the weekend finale, ORU takes on the host Cornhuskers, which made it to the quarterfinals of the national tournament in 2016. ORU makes a return trip to Arkansas Sept. 5 for a 7 p.m. contest against the Razorbacks before heading down to sunny Florida for three matches at the South Florida Invitational Sept. 8-9 also battling Florida Atlantic and Bethune-Cookman.
Fans get their first chance to see ORU volleyball on its home court inside Chapman Aerobics Center Sept. 15 when it hosts cross-town rival Tulsa at 7 p.m. starting the ORU Invitational featuring six matches over two days. The Golden Eagles extend the event with Central Arkansas and Wyoming Saturday, Sept. 16 before the start of Summit League action gets underway at home Sept. 22 and 24 against Fort Wayne and Western Illinois, respectively.
ORU plays its final home match Nov. 5 when South Dakota makes the trek to campus with the regular season finale slated for Nov. 12 at IUPUI as three of the final four regular season contests are on the road.
The Summit League Championship is scheduled for Nov. 17-19 at Hamilton Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Denver, the 2016 conference champion. The top five teams in the league will matchup for a chance to earn The Summit League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.