SUNDAY, JULY 01, 2007
Volleyball releases 2007 schedule

July 1, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The JU volleyball team's road back to the Atlantic Sun Championship will start Aug. 24 in Miami as the Dolphins announced their 2007 schedule on Friday.

The Dolphins will face three NCAA Tournament teams including a final four participant and 2005 National Champion Washington -- who is coming to the JU campus on Sept. 14.

"We have a great non-conference schedule this year that will bring our young team some much needed experience before heading into conference play," said head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "Washington obviously draws the most attention, but our entire non-conference slate has top level opponents."

JU will play four tournaments before heading into the schedule starting with the Miami Tournament in Miami, Fla. Another road tourney for the Dolphins will be the Wake Forest Tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C. against the Demon Deacons, Radford and Dayton beginning on Sept. 7.

The Dolphins host two home tournaments at the friendly confines of Swisher Gymnasium starting on Aug. 30 against SEC power Georgia, the Citadel, Presbyterian and Providence. Bethune-Cookman, Washington and New Orleans will mark its way to the JU campus in the final home tourney beginning on Sept. 13.

JU's 11-match A-Sun schedule opens with a road trip against East Tennessee State on Sept. 21 and conference newcomer USC-Upstate on Sept. 22. Other intriguing road contests include trips to Campbell, Gardner-Webb and Stetson.

The Dolphins will host six A-Sun matches at Swisher, including a rematch against Belmont on Oct. 12. JU will be seeking revenge after Belmont knocked off the Dolphins to win the 2006 A-Sun title.

The Dolphins will also showcase a rare home-and-home series against conference opponents North Florida (Oct. 26 at JU & Nov. 9 at UNF) and A-Sun newcomer Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 19 in Ft. Myers & Nov. 3 in Jacksonville)

The Ospreys swept the Dolphins in both matches last season to steal some points for the SunTrust River City Rumble standings, while the Eagles are looking to make some noise in their first year in the A-Sun after dominating the Division II ranks.

"The Atlantic Sun is getting more competitive each year and that's great for our conference RPI," said Kupferberg. "Every team has gotten better this off-season and I'm looking forward to seeing many tight matches this year."

In Kupferberg's first season at JU, the Dolphins finished with a 17-15 record and qualified for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament for the eighth consecutive season, where they reached the tournament finals for only the second time in program history.

The Dolphins open the 2007 slate in Miami, Fla. against Butler on Aug. 24 at 4 p.m.