NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Volleyball prepares to open its 2018 campaign on the road this weekend. The Bruins will travel to Knoxville to compete in the Tennessee Classic, seeing action against Chattanooga, first-time opponent No. 22 Michigan State and host-Tennessee.
BU opens the two-day tournament taking on in-state rival Chattanooga in its lone Friday match. The Mocs went 13-17 one year ago and made an appearance in the SoCon Tournament. Belmont leads the all-time series 8-3 and has won the last six meetings between the programs.
Day two opens with a duel with host-Tennessee. The Bruins last faced off against the Vols in 2007. UT enters its home tournament after going 12-15 last season and a 3-2 win in exhibition play over Lipscomb to start play this year.
First time opponent Michigan State comes to the tournament looking to build on its NCAA run from last season, eventually falling to top-seeded Penn State in the Regional Final. The Spartans finished 24-9 overall one year ago and will be the first nationally ranked opponent on the Bruins' slate this season.
Belmont boasts a relatively young squad for its 2018 season debut. Led by 2018 Preseason All-OVC selection Alexa Nichols, BU welcomes back six letterwinners. The Bruins are eager to integrate six newcomers, including a redshirt, to a roster chosen to finish fifth in the race for the Ohio Valley Conference regular season crown. The team went 14-15 one year ago and was narrowly held off in the semifinals of the OVC Tournament.
All matches during the Tennessee Classic will have live stats available. The contest versus the Volunteers on Saturday will be live streamed on WATCHESPN. Fans can also follow the Belmont's Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for live, in-game updates.