Erskine to make big EIVA road trip in upcoming season

Erskine is heading back to New England for the first time since its inaugural season.

The ConfCarolinas school as part of unveiling its 2018 schedule during the weekend announced that it scheduled non-conference road matches against Princeton, NJIT and Sacred Heart.

The Flying Fleet is a combined 2-2 all-time against these three EIVA schools. However, Erskine has never defeated an EIVA opponent on the road, including a road loss to Sacred Heart during the program’s first year in 2013.

The three-match Northeast road trip will take place during a three-day span. Erskine will begin the trip versus Sacred Heart on March 26 before traveling to New Jersey to play Princeton on March 27 and NJIT on March 28.

With a revamped starting lineup after graduating several players from its 2016 team that reached the NCAA Tournament, Erskine ended last season qualifying for the ConfCarolinas Tournament. Outside attacker Isaac Lanier also earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American Team honors and finished the regular season in the nation’s top 20 averaging 3.46 kills per game.

Both Princeton and Sacred Heart advanced to the four-team EIVA Tournament last season.

Princeton returns the majority of its starting lineup, including All-EIVA middle attackers Junior Oboh and George Huhmann. In addition, the Tigers swept the Flying Fleet at the Outrigger Invitational in the first meeting between the two programs.

Sacred Heart in 2017 ended its postseason drought as it reached the conference tournament for the first time since the EIVA changed its tournament format in 2012. Libero Joshua Ayzenberg, a finalist for the 2017 Erik Shoji Award, highlights the starters returning for the Pioneers

Along with these two postseason teams, NJIT finished last season in sixth place in the EIVA and had its first non-losing season in 10 years. This also will be the first meeting between Erskine and NJIT since the Flying Fleet in its inaugural season defeated the Highlanders.

The Flying Fleet will play four matches versus EIVA schools in the upcoming season. Erskine will open its season at the Grow the Game Challenge in Nashville and conclude that non-conference tournament against Charleston.