The biggest non-conference home match in Lincoln Memorial’s program history is set.
Coach John Cash informed Off the Block this week that Lincoln Memorial will play host to the defending NCAA Tournament finalists Hawai’i on Jan. 20, 2020 in Harrogate, Tennessee.
The Railsplitters entering their fourth season have never played a home match against a nationally ranked team.
Lincoln Memorial culminated an undefeated home record last season with a sweep against Queens in the IVA Tournament finals to win back-to-back IVA championships. In addition, the team ended the season winning a program-record 18 matches and ranked No. 5 in the Off the Block Division II National Coaches Poll.
The Rainbow Warriors behind five All-American starters earned the No. 1 overall seed to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the finals for the first time in 17 years. Hawai’i also en route to winning the 2019 Big West championship opened the season on a 25-match winning streak and 74 consecutive sets, including sweeping both of its non-conference home matches versus Lincoln Memorial.
This non-conference rematch will feature two of the top opposites in the nation.
Hawai’i opposite Rado Parapunov was in the nation’s top seven with both a 4.07 kills per game average and a .420 attack percentage as he earned the 2019 Bryan Ivie Award, which is presented to the nation’s top opposite. Parapunov since helping led the Rainbow Warriors to the NCAA Tournament finals has spent the offseason playing for Bulgaria in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Evan Cory ended last season with a nation-best 0.64 aces per game average and was eighth in the country averaging 4.04 kills per game. The Lincoln Memorial opposite also was named the Independent Teams Player of the Year and a finalist for the Division II National Player of the Year.
The trip to Lincoln Memorial will be the second time in the last three years that Hawai’i has traveled to Tennessee for non-conference matches. The Rainbow Warriors went undefeated at the 2018 Grow the Game Challenge in Nashville, including a sweep against the Railsplitters.
The match against the Rainbow Warriors will be the opener of a three-match home stand for the Railsplitters. Lincoln Memorial following this match will play St. Francis on Jan. 25 and Belmont Abbey on Jan. 31.
Along with playing Hawai’i, Lincoln Memorial has scheduled two more matches in 2020 versus teams that ended last season nationally ranked. The team as part of a Midwest road trip in March will play Loyola and the defending MIVA champions Lewis.
Lincoln Memorial 2020 schedule
Thursday, Jan. 7 vs. Mount Olive
Friday, Jan. 10 at Lindenwood
Sunday, Jan. 12 at Quincy
Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Tusculum
Saturday, Jan. 18 at Ohio State
Monday, Jan. 20 vs. Hawai’i
Saturday, Jan. 25 vs. St. Francis
Friday, Jan. 31 vs. Belmont Abbey
Sunday, Feb. 9 at Urbana
Sunday, Feb. 9 vs. Daemen (at Urbana)
Tuesday, Feb. 11 vs. Tusculum
Friday, Feb. 14 vs. King
Saturday, Feb. 15 vs. Lees-McRae
Friday, Feb. 21 at Belmont Abbey
Saturday, Feb. 22 at Emmanuel
Fridady, Feb. 28 vs. Queens
Saturday, Feb. 29 vs. Limestone
Tuesday, March 10 vs. Emmanuel
Wednesday, March 11 vs. Alderson Broaddus
Friday, March 13 at Ball State
Saturday, March 14 at Lewis
Sunday, March 15 at Loyola
Friday, March 20 vs. Urbana
Saturday, March 21 vs. Erskine
Tuesday, March 24 at King
Saturday, March 28 at Queens
Friday, April 3 at Alderson Broaddus
April 17-18 at IVA Tournament (hosted by Queens)