WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stanford and Penn State – a pair of NCAA national semifinalists that ended last season in the top four in the nation – highlight the 13-match home schedule for American University's volleyball team, head coach Barry Goldberg announced Thursday.
The fourth-ranked Cardinal, which finished 30-4, won the Pac-12 Conference at 19-1 and lost to Florida in the national semifinals, will be the Eagles' opponent in the annual Bender Blue Out game on Sunday, Aug. 26.
The Nittany Lions, winners of the Big Ten Conference, and who finished last season as the No. 3 team in the country at 33-2 following a Final Four loss to Nebraska, will come to Bender for the American Volleyball Classic, facing the Eagles in the tournament finale on Saturday, Sept. 15.
"The schedule is top-level," said Goldberg, who will coach his 30th season at AU in 2018. "We're looking forward to the challenges.
"Playing those types of teams is never easy, but we have a lot of players back and all our key players are returning."
American, which last year made its 15th NCAA appearance in 17 seasons as champion of the Patriot League, faces two other opponents that reached the tournament a year ago.
The Eagles will play at host Kansas on Friday, Sept. 7 in the opening game of the Kansas Invitational. Howard, last year's champion of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, will also play in the American Volleyball Classic, facing AU at 11 a.m. on Sept. 15.
American will also play in the Fresno State Invitational in late August. The Eagles open their 2018 schedule at home on Friday, Aug. 24 against George Mason in the D.C. Volleyball Challenge.
The Eagles will begin defense of their Patriot League championship on Sept. 21 at Lafayette and play their PL home opener on Sept. 29 against Loyola Maryland.
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