NATCHITOCHES — The 2022 Northwestern State volleyball schedule presents the Lady Demons with perhaps one of the most competitive list of matches it has seen in recent years.
Beyond the 18-match Southland Conference slate that begins for NSU on September 15 at Southeastern, the Lady Demons have three tournament weekends packed with familiar faces through the first three weeks of the season.
“We have a good mix of veteran players and youth on the roster this year,” eighth-year head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “I believe this schedule will allow us to benefit from some experience together while being tested before the conference schedule starts. We’re excited for the additions to the conference schedule and to be able to get back to some old rivalries.”
The Lady Demons open the season by taking on ULM on Friday, August 26 at the Texan Invitational, hosted by Tarleton State, who they play in the second match of opening day later that evening.
The match with the Texans is one of three on the year against teams NSU has not played before, including the first Saturday opponent Fairleigh Dickinson out of the Northeast Conference and new Southland foe Texas A&M-Commerce (Oct. 15 and Nov. 12).
After a weekend at the Mizzou Invitational to open September, the Lady Demons will spend three days in Hammond opening SLC play (Sept. 15) and then battling three other Louisiana schools at Southeastern’s Battle for the Boot tournament Sept. 16-17.
NSU faces Louisiana Tech, ULM for a second time on the year and Southern in the five-team tournament.
The lone non-conference home match of the season comes for the Lady Demons the next week when they face Texas Southern (Sept. 20) at 6:30 pm as the first competition on the redesigned court in Prather Coliseum and the final match before the bulk of the conference slate begins.
The Lady Demons start with three straight road matches before hosting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Sept. 29) for the first of three home matches in a two-week span – Houston Baptist (Oct. 1) and Nicholls (Oct. 13).
They have two more home contests after the first trip to Commerce (Oct. 15) with a home weekend against McNeese (Oct. 20) and Lamar (Oct. 22). Perhaps the most challenging conference road trip of the season comes the following week with matches at Houston Baptist and AMCC on the final weekend of October.
Four of the final five matches of the season for NSU will take place in Natchitoches – Southeastern (Nov. 1), New Orleans (Nov. 3), UIW (Nov. 10) and TAMUC (Nov. 12) – leading to a return to Hammond for the Southland Conference Tournament Nov. 17-20.
Prior to opening weekend, the Lady Demons will play a Purple/White scrimmage on Aug. 17 in Prather Coliseum and a road exhibition match against Stephen F. Austin on Aug. 20 as their final preparations before the season begins.