For the first time in four years, Cal Baptist will travel to the East Coast for non-conference matches.
Cal Baptist as part of recently unveiling its 2016 schedule announced that it will play road matches against both EIVA schools Harvard and Sacred Heart in March.
This is the first time the Lancers will return to the East Coast since competing in the 2012 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic. In addition, it will be the school’s first all-time meeting against Sacred Heart, while it last played Harvard in 2013.
Cal Baptist enters the upcoming season under new head coach Derek Schmitt after finishing the 2015 season in 11th place in the MPSF and missing the postseason. The team, though, returns a majority of starters including freshman all-conference setter Zachary Melcher.
The Lancers also went 4-2 in non-conference play last season with victories against Holy Names and UC Merced.
Harvard finished last season reaching the four-team EIVA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year, but in non-conference play was 0-3 against MPSF opponents. Despite losing two all-conference starters to graduation, Harvard returns All-EIVA opposite Branden Clemens for his senior season.
Sacred Heart, similar to Cal Baptist, missed the 2015 postseason as it finished tied for sixth place in the EIVA. Among the starters returning for the Pioneers in the upcoming season includes Second-Team All-EIVA middle attacker Travis Vonholt.
Along with its East Coast road trip, Cal Baptist will play five more non-conference matches as part of its 2016 schedule.
Cal Baptist will open its season playing NJIT, Quincy and Lindenwood at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. It also will play home matches against Holy Names and Concordia-Irvine.