Men's Volleyball Releases 2014-15 Schedule
Tigerville, SC – With high hopes and an eye-opening first match that will have fans wondering “what was that guy thinking,” the North Greenville University men’s volleyball team will dive into its first ever season with four exhibitions in the fall and a full slate of NCAA Division I/II matches beginning in January of 2015.
The NGU men and head coach Dr. Fred Battenfield will open their official season on January 3 against top 10 ranked Pepperdine University of Malibu, CA at 7:00 p.m. at the brand new $19 million Upward Star Center in Spartanburg.
“It’s not exactly what I would normally have done for our first match with a brand new program, but I could not pass up the incredible chance to showcase the best in men’s college volleyball right here in the Upstate of South Carolina,” Battenfield said. “We’re calling it the Carolina Men’s Volleyball Classic and we hope we can bring a marquis team to this area every year.”
“Craig Brown, the owner of the Greenville Drive, has a noteworthy relationship with Jonathan Winder, the assistant men’s coach at Pepperdine, and he has been the driving force behind bringing the Waves to Greenville,” Battenfield added. “Plus, Pepperdine’s head coach Marv Dunphy and I became acquainted at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea when I was the press attaché for the USA men’s team which won a gold medal. There are some great story lines behind this series.”
Pepperdine will also take on NGU on its campus in Tigerville on Monday, Jan. 5 at 1:00 p.m. in Hayes Gym.
“In our athletic history, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a top 10 ranked Division I team that has played a regular season match on our campus, and that’s exciting to me,” Battenfield added. “There will be ‘David and Goliath’ references galore, but I love it; it will be a chance to watch a series of national caliber matches that just don’t happen around our area.”
North Greenville is a member of Conference Carolinas, a group of NCAA Division II programs in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, but since men’s volleyball does not have enough Division II teams for a separate championship, all CC teams compete in NCAA Division I/II. The CC tournament champion will earn a bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament next April.
NGU will play a home and home series with all 10 schools that play men’s volleyball in Conference Carolinas, and will make a road trip to West Virginia the end of January to compete against the University of Charleston and Bluefield State University, which are also first year programs. Coker College will also play a home and home series with the Crusaders, and Holy Names University from Oakland, CA, will make an appearance in Tigerville on March 10.
“I have recruited players from Virginia to Hawaii, and from Florida to Canada, and they have been working very diligently getting ready for our first season,” Battenfield summarized. “My primary goal is to prepare the team for the regular season and have a chance at getting into the Conference Carolinas tournament. But, I’m realistic in that it might take a few years for the team to blend together, but we’d really like it for it to happen fairly quickly.”
NGU OPENS FALL 2014 WITH EXHIBITIONS AGAINST CLEMSON, GA. TECH AND GEORGIA
The NGU men will don the familiar red and black Crusader uniforms for the first time against some highly recognizable programs, playing at the Georgia Tech club tournament on Saturday, Nov. 8, and hosting Clemson, Georgia Tech and Georgia for home matches in Hayes Gym.
“I am committed to growing the men’s game in South Carolina and what better way than playing teams like Clemson, UGA and Tech,” Battenfield said. “The big name schools loved the idea of coming to NGU to play in front of crowds. We hope we can put a lot of people in the seats for these matches.”
The Crusaders will host Georgia Tech on Nov. 13, Clemson University on Nov. 19 and the University of Georgia on Nov. 22, all in Hayes Gymnasium.
To view the complete schedule, CLICK HERE