Two matches in Hawaii and coach Jeremy Price returning to his former school highlights the 2012 Grand Canyon regular season schedule that the team released Thursday.
The Antelopes finished last season in last place in the MIVA and lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals. Grand Canyon has all seven starters returning for the upcoming season, including All-MIVA libero Trent Bruns
Check out the five things to know about Grand Canyon’s schedule for the upcoming season.
Five things to know about the schedule
1. Getting frequent flyer miles
For the third consecutive season, Grand Canyon will be among the nation’s leaders in miles traveled for road matches. The Antelopes this upcoming season have road matches in seven states and four time zones. Grand Canyon, which joined the MIVA for the 2010 season, is the only West Coast team in the MIVA and will travel to play two-match series against IPFW, Ohio State and Lewis during the season. In addition, Grand Canyon will have a two-match road series against Hawai’i in January and a three-match East Coast road trip in February. This travel schedule is a slight decrease from last season when the Antelopes played road matches in eight states.
2. Price returns to Juniata
After guiding Juniata to two Molten Division III national champions in his four years as head coach, Grand Canyon coach Jeremy Price will make his first trip back to Huntingdon, Pa. Price and Grand Canyon will play Juniata in a non-conference match on Feb. 25 as part of a three-match East Coast road trip. Price left Juniata in the summer of 2011 and is entering his second season with Grand Canyon. In addition to winning national champions while at Juniata, Price was named the 2009 AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year. This will be the third meeting between the two schools since Price joined Grand Canyon. Juniata defeated Grand Canyon in both matches last season in Phoenix.
3. Playing on the big island
The Antelopes for the first time in their four-year program history will travel to the Hawaii. Grand Canyon will play a two-match road series against Hawai’i on Jan. 27-28 in Honolulu. This series could also be one of the highest ranked opponents the Antelopes face the entire season. Hawai’i finished last season No. 8 in the coaches poll and lost in the MPSF Tournament semifinals. Grand Canyon has never defeated a nationally ranked Division I-II team in its program history, including losing to then-No. 2 Ohio State twice at home last season.
4. Holding off MIVA play
Grand Canyon will have the latest start to its conference season of the 16 Division I-II men’s volleyball teams that have already released their 2012 schedules. Grand Canyon’s two-match home series versus Quincy in mid-February will be its only MIVA matches during the first two months of the season. The Antelopes will play its remaining 10 MIVA matches during the final six weeks of the regular season. Among these late-season conference matches includes two-match road series against Lewis and the defending NCAA champions Ohio State to close out the regular season. Grand Canyon since joining the MIVA is a combined 1-23 in conference play and has not won a conference match since 2010.
5. Grand Canyon Invitational
The Antelopes will open the home portion of their schedule with the inaugural Grand Canyon Invitational on Jan. 13-15. The three-day non-conference tournament will include Grand Canyon, NJIT and UC San Diego. Grand Canyon and NJIT will play each other twice on the first two days of the tournament. This is the second year the two teams have played each other as Grand Canyon last season defeated NJIT on the road in the first meeting between the two schools. In addition, the Grand Canyon and UC San Diego match to close out the invitational will be the first time the two schools have played each other.
Grand Canyon regular season schedule
2 p.m. Jan. 7 at Pacific
2 p.m. Jan. 8 at Pacific
8 p.m. Jan. 9 at UC Santa Cruz
6 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. NJIT
6 p.m. Jan. 14 vs. NJIT
2 p.m. Jan. 15 vs. UC San Diego
8 p.m. Jan. 19 at Hope International
8 p.m. Jan. 20 at Cal Baptist
10 p.m. Jan. 27 at Hawai’i
10 p.m. Jan. 28 at Hawai’i
1 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. King
7 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. Johnson and Wales
1 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Johnson and Wales
7 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. King
6 p.m. Feb. 18 vs. Quincy*
4 p.m. Feb. 19 vs. Quincy*
5 p.m. Feb. 25 at Juniata
Noon Feb. 26 at St. Francis
5 p.m. Feb. 27 at George Mason
6 p.m. March 9 vs. Ball State*
6 p.m. March 10 vs. Ball State*
4 p.m. March 16 at IPFW*
4 p.m. March 17 at IPFW*
6 p.m. March 23 vs. Loyola*
6 p.m. March 24 vs. Loyola*
6 p.m. March 30 vs. Lindenwood
6 p.m. March 31 vs. Lindenwood
4 p.m. April 5 at Ohio State*
4 p.m. April 6 at Ohio State*
5 p.m. April 13 at Lewis*
5 p.m. April 14 at Lewis*
*Denotes MIVA match
All times local Phoenix tmes