UC San Diego Begins Second Season as Big West Member in Less than a Month
LA JOLLA, Calif. - Entering its second season as a member of the Big West Conference, the University of California San Diego men's volleyball team kicks off its 2019 campaign in less than a month. The Tritons' schedule features 13 home matches as well as road trips to New England, the Midwest, and Hawai'i.
UC San Diego, which won seven of its first nine matches a year ago, opens the new year with six-consecutive road contests against non-conference opponents, starting with Pepperdine on Jan. 4. The Tritons then travel to UCLA, Sacred Heart in Connecticut, Harvard in Massachusetts, Lewis in Romeoville, Ill., and Loyola Chicago.
"Our non-conference schedule includes a good balance of top level teams from the EIVA, MIVA, and MPSF, both at home and on the road," said 14th-year UC San Diego head coach Kevin Ring. "Trips to the East Coast and the Midwest in early January will provide us with some great competition as we head into Big West Conference play as well as test how well we enjoy the cold. We’ll have the opportunity to represent the Big West in West Coast competition as we face eight MPSF programs throughout the season."
Fans will finally be able to see the team in action in a newly-renovated RIMAC Arena on Jan. 25 as UCLA visits La Jolla. That match begins a string of six home dates that also includes Grand Canyon, Princeton, Concordia, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Irvine. The Feb. 8 tilt against the Anteaters is the first of 10 Big West match-ups for the Tritons.
Over the summer, RIMAC Arena underwent its first major upgrade since opening in 1995. Highlights include new seating, a VIP skybox, a 50-foot wide video board, new LED scorer's tables, and a video production facility.
“The renovations to RIMAC Arena will enhance the experience for fans and competitors alike," said Ring. "Our goal is to make RIMAC Arena a real home court advantage for the Tritons.”
The Tritons continue Big West play at UC Irvine on Feb. 14 and home against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 15. The team's next four matches are on the road at UC Santa Cruz, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and Concordia.
Six of the team's final eight regular season matches will be at RIMAC Arena, the first coming on March 9 against Stanford. The Tritons host Lindenwood on March 12 and back-to-back Big West tilts with Hawai'i on March 29 and March 30.
UC San Diego travels to Long Beach State, the 2018 national champion, on April 5 and hosts the 49ers the next night.
The regular season wraps up with a pair of matches against CSUN. The Tritons entertain the Matadors on April 12 and travel to the San Fernando Valley on April 13.
The 2019 Big West Tournament is scheduled for April 18-20 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Last season, the Tritons fell to UC Irvine in the first-ever Big West men's volleyball tourney.
"The Big West Conference certainly made its mark last year in its inaugural men's volleyball season," said Ring. "This year is starting off no differently as three Big West programs are ranked in the top three in the AVCA Preseason Coaches’ poll. We look forward to the challenge. As UC San Diego works towards the transition to Division I, we are proud that we are already representing our school in the Big West Conference."
Long Beach State will host the NCAA Championship May 2-4 at Walter Pyramid.
UC San Diego returns seven players from a 2018 squad that went 9-19 overall and 0-10 in the Big West including outside hitter Wyatt Harrison, who was named to the league's all-freshman team.
The Tritons got a competitive warm-up in early November as they played in a tournament at USC, going 2-1 with victories over UC Santa Barbara and CSUN and a loss against the host Trojans.
UC San Diego students are admitted free to all regular season matches. General admission tickets are $8. Senior citizens (65+), youth (4-12), military, visiting students, and UC San Diego alumni, faculty, and staff can purchase tickets for $5.
If you aren't able to make it out to RIMAC Arena this season, all matches will be covered by a live video stream through BigWest.tv.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles, and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in the summer of 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's pre-eminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDTritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDTritons), Instagram (@UCSDTritons) and Facebook (UCSDTritons). To stay tuned in to UC San Diego Men's Volleyball, follow the team's Instagram (@UCSDmvb).