The Doane Volleyball program finished the 2017 season with a record of 17-12 (9-7 GPAC) and received votes in the final national poll. Looking at the 2018 schedule, Doane will face a solid line-up of opponents totaling 29 matches. The Tigers are scheduled to take on 12 teams who qualified at last year’s NAIA Volleyball National Championship Tournament. Going into her sixth season as Head Coach for the Tigers, Gwen Egbert expresses her confidence in this year’s team saying, “the 2018 schedule will be challenging and our team will step up for each test.”
The 2018 opener is slated against Presentation College on August 24 at the Red Raider Classic. Highlighting day two of the classic, Doane is scheduled to play No. 8 Corban University (Ore.). The Warriors, members of the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC), are coming off of their best season in school history where they won their first-ever regular season conference title.
The Tigers will debut at home a few days later on August 30 against York College as a part of the Bellevue Labor Day Classic. During the Labor Day Classic, Doane will face two teams who were mentioned in the 2017 national poll, Missouri Valley (receiving votes) and No. 10 Grand View University. Grand View has won the last two Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) championships.
The Tigers will travel to Hastings College on September 5 to play their first conference match. In the last meeting between these two rivals, Doane snagged a five-set win over then-3rd ranked Hastings in the regular season finale. The Broncos have won the past two GPAC regular season titles.
Doane will participate in the Baker Invitational on September 7-8. The Tigers will compete against Ottawa University (RV), Baker University, Graceland University, and No. 6 Park University. Park University finished their 2017 season with a 33-4 record, with two losses against No.3 Viterbo (Wis.). The last time Doane faced Park was in 2008.
Conference play will continue through September and the entire month of October. This year will be the first year in which the University of Jamestown will compete as a member of the GPAC. Fifteenth-ranked Jamestown also competed at nationals last year alongside fellow GPAC schools Hastings College (9), Northwestern College (11), Midland University (13), Morningside College (16), and Dordt College (2). Dordt finished runner-up at the 2017 national tournament.
On October 16, sandwiched between two conference matches, No. 19 Bellevue University will come to the Haddix Center to face Doane. The Tigers dropped a thrilling five-set match to the Bruins last season.
The regular season concludes on Halloween against Concordia. Following the match, the Tigers will honor their seniors.
Egbert says, “with only one senior graduating in 2017, there is a lot of experience returning.” Doane will return one All-American along with two players who received all-conference honors in 2017.