There will be a Final Four feel right from the start of Lewis’ upcoming season.
Lewis announced earlier this week that it will open the season with five non-conference matches against the MPSF, including home matches against the two teams in last season’s NCAA finals: UC Irvine and BYU.
The defending-NCAA champions UC Irvine and Lewis will play on New Year’s Day in the nation’s first college men’s volleyball regular season match of the 2014 season. In addition, Lewis will play BYU on Jan. 4 before closing out its three-match homestand against USC.
This will be the most home matches against MPSF opponents for the Flyers in their recent program history. The season-opening match against UC Irvine will also second all-time meeting between the two teams and the first time they will play in Romeoville, Ill.
Lewis enters the upcoming season after reaching the 2013 MIVA Tournament championship match in April. The Flyers also return a majority of starters including All-American setter BJ Boldog and outside attacker Geoff Powell.
Follow its season-opening three-match homestand, Lewis will travel to the West Coast for non-conference matches against Stanford on Jan. 10 and Pacific on Jan. 11.
Stanford, BYU and UC Irvine all finished last season ranked in the top six of the final national coaches poll. All three teams also have All-Americans and multiple all-conference players returning for the upcoming season.
Lewis has lost eight of its last 12 matches MPSF opponents, including a home loss to BYU in 2011. However, the Flyers have pulled off two upsets against West Coast teams in the last three years.
The five non-conference matches for Lewis is currently the most non-conference against the MPSF for any team in the nation.
The Flyers are also one of five MIVA teams to have announced non-conference matches against MPSF opponents for the 2014 season.