Sirola Announces 2012 ORU Volleyball Schedule
With the transition to the Southland Conference, the 2012 schedule will no doubt look very unfamiliar for longtime Golden Eagle volleyball fans. ORU will play just two opponents from 2011, Missouri State and McNeese State.
The 2012 calendar does feature three teams coming off of NCAA Tournament appearances. Missouri State and Dayton each advanced to the 1st round of the 2011 event, while Tulsa advanced to the 2nd round.
ORU will play ten home matches in 2012, with each match taking place at the Kenneth H. Cooper Aerobics Center on the ORU campus. All weeknight home matches begin at 7 pm CT, while Saturday matches start at 3 pm CT.
The schedule starts on Friday, August 24, when Sirola’s team heads to the Empire State for a tournament at the University of Buffalo. Opponents are yet to be determined for the event, which continues until Saturday, August 25.
ORU’s next stop is Springfield, Mo., for a tournament at Missouri State from August 30-Spetember 1. In addition to the Bears, who defeated ORU, 3-1, in 2011, the Golden Eagles will face UALR, Austin Peay and Dayton.
The 2012 home opener is scheduled for Tuesday, September 4, when ORU hosts cross-town rival Tulsa. ORU holds a 57-25 all-time advantage over the Golden Hurricane. First serve at the Aerobics Center is scheduled for 7 pm.
ORU’s final non-conference stop is Denton, Texas, for an event at the University of North Texas from September 7-8. The Golden Eagles will face the host Mean Green in the tournament opener and will also tangle with Hofstra and Eastern Michigan at the event.
The team’s first jaunt through the Southland Conference begins on Thursday, September 13 in Huntsville, Texas, when the Golden Eagles face Sam Houston State. Two days later, ORU faces Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Sirola’s team plays their first home match in 16 days when they face Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, September 20 at the Aerobics Center. The brief home stand ends two days later with a Saturday afternoon match against Nicholls State.
Another road trip begins on Thursday, September 27 at Stephen F. Austin and concludes on Saturday, September 29 against Northwestern State. Then it’s back home on Thursday, October 4, for a matchup with Lamar.
Two days later, the Golden Eagles host McNeese State. ORU won a five-set thriller over McNeese last season as part of a seven-match winning streak.
The first half of the Southland Conference season wraps up on Saturday, October 13 at Central Arkansas, the start of a three-game road swing that includes matches at Southeastern Louisiana on October 18 and Nicholls State on October 20.
The biggest home stand of the season starts on Tuesday, October 23 with a return trip from Central Arkansas. Two days later, Sam Houston State invades Tulsa, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi comes to the Aerobics Center on October 27.
ORU opens the final month of the season on November 1 at McNeese State, and they play their final scheduled road game of the season on November 3 at Lamar.
The final home series of the season begins on Thursday, November 8 against Stephen F. Austin, and the 2012 home finale is scheduled for Saturday, November 10 against Northwestern State.
With the regular season in the rearview mirror, ORU will take part in their first ever Southland Conference Tournament, to be held November 16-17 in Conway, Ark. The winner of the tournament gets the Southland’s automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Though the Southland Conference schedule is unfamiliar to many current Golden Eagles, ORU does have a winning history against most of their new conference rivals. ORU is 6-5 all-time against Lamar, 4-1 against Central Arkansas, 4-0 against Stephen F. Austin, 2-0 against Nicholls State, 1-0 against McNeese and 1-0 against Northwestern State. The Golden Eagles are 3-4 against Sam Houston State and have never faced Southeastern Louisiana and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
ORU returns six starters from last season’s 20-10 club, including 2011 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year Bruna Silva. The junior defensive ace is joined by a five-player senior class, including Joana Gruber, Tatum Fredeen, Shelby Robb, Sheina Fernandes and Tulsa native Olivia Ophus.