A projected nationally ranked team and one of the preseason favorites to win the ConfCarolinas will descend upon Saint Francis in the opening weeks of the upcoming season.
Saint Francis coach Michael Rumbaugh confirmed to Off the Block earlier this week that his team along with Grand Canyon and King will compete in a tri-match non-conference event on Jan. 22-23 in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
This will be the first time Grand Canyon has played Saint Francis since 2015 and its first meeting against King since 2012. In addition, Saint Francis versus King will be a non-conference rematch from last season when the Red Flash beat the Tornado in five games.
Of the limited 2021 college men’s volleyball schedules released so far, Grand Canyon is one of the teams slated to travel across the country for a non-conference event.
The Antelopes ended the shortened 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic at No. 11 in the national coaches poll and in second place in the MPSF. Outside attacker Camden Gianni also earned Freshman All-American honors after finishing among the national leaders with a 3.49 kills per game average.
King was in third place in ConfCarolinas at the time the 2020 season was canceled. Multiple Tornado starters return for the upcoming season, including opposite Joshua Kim who was in the conference’s top 15 averaging 2.76 kills per game last season.
Saint Francis concluded last season in sixth place but opened the season with a five-game comeback victory against then-No. 7 Stanford.
All-EIVA outside attacker Michael Fisher also returns for a final season in 2021. The graduate student has more than 1,000 career kills and opted to return after the NCAA granted all college men’s players an extra year of eligibility because of the shortened 2020 season.